Washington: With the Manas base, critical for its Afghan operations, at stake, the US has said it is closely monitoring the situation in Kyrgyzstan, where the opposition has formed an alternative government, and vowed to restore democracy in the Central Asian country.
US President Barack Obama has been closely following the events in Kyrgyzstan, and continues to monitor the situation with his National Security Team, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said.
"We urge that calm be restored to Bishkek and other affected areas in a manner consistent with democratic principles and with respect for human rights," he said in a statement.
Deploring the use of deadly force by some of the security services against the demonstrators and by some demonstrators and continue to be concerned by ongoing looting and disorder, Gibbs said the US looks forward to continuing our productive relationship with the people of Kyrgyzstan and the renewal of Kyrgyzstan's democratic path.
Meanwhile, Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, Robert Blake, met Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Kadyrbek Sarbaev.
"The purpose of the meeting was simply to inform him that we would not be having the scheduled dialogue today as was originally planned," said State Department spokesman P J Crowley.
"Our charge at the embassy in Bishkek also met today (Thursday) with opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva. Our message in both cases was that we hope that calm will be restored in a manner consistent with democratic principles.”
“Our priority, at this point, is law and order and that democracy be established in accordance with the rule of law. We continue to reach out to government officials and opposition leaders in every way that we possibly can," he said.
"We have ongoing concerns about looting, even though the situation on the ground was relatively peaceful today. Our Embassy is operating, although it is closed except for emergency public requirements that can be arranged through a special appointment, and operations are ongoing at the Manas airfield," he said.
Responding to a question, Crowley said there is no indication that the military or security services played any role or any meaningful role in what has happened in Kyrgyzstan.
"Our interest is in seeing a peaceful resolution and we will work with the government ministries and Kyrgyz officials to see the restoration of democratic rule as quickly as possible," he observed adding that the US wants to help Kyrgyzstan continue on a path towards effective democracy.
"We will continue to help Kyrgyzstan and the people of Kyrgyzstan have a government that they can support and that functions in accordance with democratic principles," Crowley said.
First Published: Friday, April 09, 2010, 09:34