Interim Kyrgyz government recognized by US

Photo: Interim Kyrgyz government recognized by US / Kyrgyzstan

The interim Kyrgyz government that took power in a violent revolt last week has been officially recognized by the United States, the US ambassador to the country announced Sunday.

"We are working with the provisional government and I plan to meet with its members in the near future," US ambassador Tatiana Gfoeller said in a statement posted on the embassy's website, dpa reported.

"I am deeply committed to our continued partnership with Kyrgyzstan for the benefit of the Kyrgyz people. I look forward to continuing to support the economic and democratic development of Kyrgyzstan."

The announcement comes a day after interim government leader Rosa Otunbayeva telephoned with US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton about humanitarian aid and after the Kyrgyz government assured the US that it could continue to operate a military base - vital for resupplying Afghanistan - on its soil.

However, the US government has said it does not plan to use the base for the time being, though some humanitarian aid will arrive via the facility.

The news also came as the death toll from last week's violence rose to 81 and the number of wounded rose to more than 1,600, 500 of whom remain hospitalized. Some remain in critical condition due to injuries sustained in the clashes.

Additionally, President Kurmanbek Bakiyev remains in the country's south and, despite international isolation, has not formally renounced his office.

The protests started Tuesday in reaction to government censorship and corruption, resulting in clashes between citizens and security personnel that eventually forced Bakiyev and his associates to flee the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek.

Bakiyev enjoys more support in southern Kyrgyzstan. However, he was termed a traitor to his people by Otunbayeva during memorial services Saturday night.

Large parts of the country remain troubled after the plundering and violence that broke out last week. But the situation was stabilizing as international organizations such as the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe sent observers to the country.

An official state of mourning continued in the country Sunday.

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