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EU Promises More Aid to Kyrgyzstan

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TEHRAN, March 2 (ICANA)- Europe is considering additional aid for embattled Kyrgyzstan. The impoverished country is still recovering from the massive destruction in the south caused by ethnic violence between Kyrgyz and Uzbek communities last June.
Wednesday, March 02, 2011 2:17:47 PM
EU Promises More Aid to Kyrgyzstan

About 2,000 people died in the unrest. The aid announcement came during a Brussels visit of Kyrgyzstan's president, Rosa Otunbayeva.

The reasons for the exception are rising food prices in the region and gaps in Kyrgyzstan's external aid. The EU will decide whether to give money after conducting an economic assessment mission in Kyrgyzstan, most likely in the coming months. The additional funding, unclear how much for now, would support Kyrgyzstan's national budget.

This money would be in addition to the 118 million euros Brussels has already granted Kyrgyzstan for democracy building and infrastructure renovation.

But experts say the EU should also help investigate the circle around Kyrgyzstan's former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who was ousted just before the ethnic unrest in the south. The people in his circle are believed to have been financially corrupt. Many of these people now live in the EU.

Meanwhile, experts warn that a weak Kyrgyzstan could destabilize the entire Central Asia, which is already impoverished and vulnerable.

Standup: Kyrgyzstan is going to hold presidential elections at the end of this year. Just a few months ago, the country held its first ever parliamentary elections - after becoming the first parliamentary democracy in Central Asia in the summer of 2010.

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