World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Condoleezza Rice IV - Radio Liberty & BBC

Interview With Kubat Otorbaev of Radio Liberty and Sultan Jumagulov of the BBC Kyrgyz Service

Secretary Condoleezza Rice
Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
October 11, 2005

QUESTION: (Via Kyrgyz Interpreter) Dear Madame Secretary, you're welcome to Kyrgyzstan.

Dear Madame Secretary, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization demanded that its members define a timetable of American bases presence in Central Asia. In a response, the U.S. Government announced its bases would stay until it completes stabilization in Afghanistan. In your opinion, how could it take -- how long could it take to stabilize the situation in Afghanistan? And what will be the fate of American bases in Central Asia, specifically in Kyrgyzstan? And when will Afghan people not be in need of the international military assistance?

Also Kyrgyzstan's new leadership has allegedly asked to increase the rent payment for using the Manas airport, what is the U.S. answer to this?

SECRETARY RICE: (Responding in English) Well, today, the President spoke and I spoke to the issue of the base and he made very clear, what he has told us, that this base is needed for the war on terrorism. It's needed until the terrorists are defeated in Afghanistan. And I don't think we want to set a timetable, we just have to do it as quickly as possible to defeat the terrorists. That's the goal here.

It is also the case that the United States has made very clear that we are not seeking a permanent set of bases in Central Asia. We are operating here to support the war on terrorism, which is important to us and important to the region because the terrorists threaten both of us.

As to the requirements for the base and relations between Kyrgyzstan and the United States, we are always prepared to talk about our arrangements but we believe that it is a fair arrangement, and we will have a team coming soon to explain better how we have been dealing with certain technical issues concerning the base.

QUESTION: (Via Kyrgyz Interpreter) Madame Secretary, after the Uzbek Government announced the closure of the Karshi-Khanabad base, is the U.S. Government looking at its possible partial deployment at the Manas airport?

SECRETARY RICE: (Responding in English) The United States believes that it can certainly continue our operations and win the war on terrorism with the structures that we have in place now. We are supporting operations out of Manas to Uzbekistan, and we have needed over-flight rights in other places and I expect that that will continue to be the nature of our needs.

QUESTION: (Via Kyrgyz Interpreter) Economic and political relations between Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan have cooled off after Kyrgyzstan offered a temporary refuge for Uzbek asylum seekers and helped to create conditions for sending them to a third country. Some are even talking about Tashkent's pressure on Bishkek, and if Kyrgyzstan agrees to move the base in Karshi-Khanabad to Manas, the Kyrgyz-Uzbek relations might be irreparably damaged. Therefore, it looks like Kyrgyzstan is finding itself between two fires trying to fulfill its international commitments and good neighbor commitments. Is the U.S. Government considering this situation in developing its foreign policy?

SECRETARY RICE: (Responding in English) Well, our view is that countries that fulfill their international responsibilities are the ones that the international system respects and ultimately rewards. Uzbekistan is not fulfilling its international responsibilities at this point and everyone knows that. And Uzbekistan is losing support throughout Europe, certainly with the United States, and that cannot be good for the people of Uzbekistan. So I think Kyrgyzstan is the one that is in the strongest position here because Kyrgyzstan is acting as a responsible citizen. There will be economic and political support for Kyrgyzstan from many countries.

But I want to be very clear: We want Kyrgyzstan to have good relations with its neighbors, good relations with Russia, good relations with China, good relations in the region. We have good relations with those countries and we hope that Kyrgyzstan will, too. There is nothing about having good relations with the United States that suggests you have to choose to have bad relations with your neighbors. You should have good relations with your neighbors.

Thank you.


Released on October 11, 2005


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Myanmar: Military Must Stop Murdering And Jailing Protestors – Bachelet

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet on Thursday said security forces in Myanmar must “halt their vicious crackdown on peaceful protestors,” following another day of deadly violence across the country on Wednesday... More>>

Syria: Economic Decline, Rising Hunger And Surging Humanitarian Needs

Syria’s fragile economy has “suffered multiple shocks” over the past 18 months, with its currency plummeting and joblessness swelling as people struggle to cover their basic needs, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator told the Security Council ... More>>

OECD: Final Quarter Of 2020 Shows Continued Recovery In G20 International Merchandise Trade

G20 international merchandise trade continued to rebound in the fourth quarter of 2020 ( exports up 7.2% and imports up 6.8%), following the sharp falls seen in the first half of 2020, as lockdown measures affected trade globally. Although growth ... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UNFCCC: Greater Climate Ambition Urged As Initial NDC Synthesis Report Is Published

UN Climate Change today published the Initial NDC Synthesis Report, showing nations must redouble efforts and submit stronger, more ambitious national climate action plans in 2021 if they’re to achieve the Paris Agreement goal of limiting global temperature rise by 2°C—ideally 1.5°C—by the end of the century... More>>

2021: Critical Year To ‘reset Our Relationship With Nature’ – UN Chief

During this time of “crisis and fragility”, the UN chief told the United Nations Environment Assembly on Monday that human well-being and prosperity can be vastly improved by prioritizing nature-based solutions. Painting a picture of the turmoil ... More>>

Paris Agreement: UN Secretary-General António Guterres To Mark U.S. Reentry With Envoy For Climate John Kerry

Watch live at UN Secretary-General António Guterres will join U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John F. Kerry at an event marking the United States’ reentry into the Paris Agreement this Friday. The discussion with the Secretary-General ... More>>