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Kyrgyzstan needs strict foreign policy priorities

Kyrgyzstan Materials 31 October 2011 14:07
Almazbek Atambayev, who won a lion share of votes at Sunday presidential elections, will have to make a choice while pursuing the country’s foreign policy, Kyrgyz expert Sergei Masaulov believes
Kyrgyzstan needs strict foreign policy priorities

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 31 /Trend A.Badalova/

Almazbek Atambayev, who won a lion share of votes at Sunday presidential elections, will have to make a choice while pursuing the country's foreign policy, Kyrgyz expert Sergei Masaulov believes.

The country's acting Prime Minister Atambayev gained 50 percent of votes in a presidential race with participation of 16 candidates. According to the constitutional law, to take a victory at the elections a candidate is to gain more than 50 percent of the votes.

He will either define the priorities in country's foreign policy and strictly follow them, or maintain the position of some kind of 'arbiter' in the country.

According to Masaulov, giving preference to the first option, he will accelerate the country's joining the Customs Union, and, consequently, expanding the cooperation with Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, at the same time maintaining the relations with China.

"This will contribute to the development of economy, in particular, the national production," the expert believes.

However, while choosing the second option Kyrgyzstan will face a number of problems due to uncertainties in foreign policy, which will be destructive for the country," Masaulov said.

Therefore, the choice will be more likely made to the first option, he predicts.

With regard to the future of the Manas Transit Center in Kyrgyzstan's territory, Masaulov said it will be defined through consultations with the U.S., Russia and China.

Transit Center in Manas is NATO facility at Manas International Airport near Bishkek primarily operated by the U.S. Air Force. The base was opened in December 2001 to support U.S. military operations in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

"Manas will definitely exist until 2014," he said.

The options to further change the position of Manas will be sought, the expert believes.

"If Atambayev prefers joining the Customs Union, it will necessitate tight coordination within CSTO," Masaulov underscored. "In this case Kyrgyzstan will bid farewell to Manas."

"I suppose the CSTO may somewhat change its format in the next two years, and create new structures, which will be responsible for strategic planning," Masaulov said. "That will result in closer cooperation among the member-states of this union."

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