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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Interview With BBC World TV

Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asia Affairs George Krol
Washington, DC
June 25, 2010


World TV: So What is the American Position with George Krol, Deputy Assistant Secretary for South and Central Asian Affairs. From the State Department in Washington, he joined me and I asked him for the U.S. analysis of what the root is of this ethnic violence.

Deputy Assistant Secretary (DAS) Krol: We have called for an investigation of the causes for this violence that had occurred, and we understand that the Kyrgyz authorities are going forward with an investigation of this. I think there were longstanding ethnic divisions in the south of very historical proportions, and perhaps there have been accusations and allegations of provocations from elements of the previous regime, criminal groups and the like. But what we have urged --

World TV: May I ask you, do you believe this has been engineered by other forces in a rather sinister way? Or has there been a certain organic development to this which would have taken place anyway?

DAS Krol: Well as I said, I think we need to investigate this rather thoroughly with international means as well as with the Kyrgyz themselves. But there is, has been an organic tension there. There had been very bloody developments in 1990 between these populations of ethnic Uzbeks and Kyrgyz. These could be exacerbated given the political situation that had pertained in Kyrgyzstan after the April 7th events.

World TV: Mr. Krol, can I ask you, President Bakiyev, former President Bakiyev, he’s now in exile, he has told the BBC a couple of days ago that he and his son were not involved in any way in fomenting this violence. Do you accept that assurance?

DAS Krol: As I said, I think this needs to be investigated thoroughly and transparently to see what was really behind all of this.

World TV: Both you and the United States and Russia uniquely have air bases close to the capital of Bishkek for your own strategic reasons. What, therefore, is your assessment? Is this just a Kyrgyz problem or does it very much involve you, the United States, and the Russians?

DAS Krol: Well I think fundamentally it is a Kyrgyz problem in their own domestic politics. Actually I would say as regards the relationship between the United States and Russia as I think was exemplified by the statements of President Obama and President Dmitry Medvedev yesterday in Washington, that this is a situation in which the United States and the Russian Federation have been in very close contact with, in discussions, in monitoring the situation. Our Presidents have spoken about it, and have made, we also made a joint statement with the Russian Federation of the two Presidents yesterday in Washington. Our Ministers, Minister Lavrov and Secretary Clinton have spoken. We are in close contact with the Russians in Bishkek, in Moscow, and even here in Washington.

World TV: George Krol, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs speaking to me from Washington here on the hub.

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