EU ready to offer humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan
Kyrgyzstan is set to receive humanitarian aid from the European Commission after ethnic violence in the south of the country led tens of thousands of people to leave their homes, European Union foreign ministers said Monday.
The Central Asian country has been in flux since April, when riots led to the overthrow of president Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Violence flared up again on the weekend with 120 people killed and more than 1,500 injured in clashes between ethnic Uzbek and Kyrgyz, DPA reported.
EU foreign ministers, in a statement, expressed their "readiness to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs" of those affected. "An emergency financing decision will be taken by the commission."
They also said the violence should not disrupt the democratic transition and urged leaders to "pursue the political process ... notably through the referendum on a new constitution and early elections as announced by the provisional government."
EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton would remain in "close contact" with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations to help restore order, as well as "other appropriate actors," according to the statement.
Earlier Monday, Ashton said she was in touch with Russia, which is considering responding to a request for military assistance by interim Kyrgyz President Rosa Otunbayeva.