The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 23, 2002

Joint Statement by President George W. Bush and President Askar Akayev on the Relationship Between the United States of America and the Kyrgyz Republic

We declare our commitment to strengthen the long-term, strategic partnership and cooperation between our nations, desiring to promote a shared vision for the 21st century of a peaceful, prosperous, and sovereign Kyrgyz Republic that is increasingly integrated into the global economy and the community of democratic nations.

We reaffirm our deep appreciation for the strong relations that have been established between our two countries based on mutual respect and the common goals of stability, peace, and prosperity. We will advance our cooperation on democratic political and free-market economic reforms, and the development of the resources of the Kyrgyz Republic and its people. We affirm that these political and economic reforms are a necessary condition to ensure political, social, and economic stability; sustainable development; prosperity; and national security.

We recognize that the threats of terrorism, trafficking of narcotics, and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction endanger the security not only of the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic, but also of the Central Asian region and the world at large. We, therefore, seek to develop our security cooperation to address these challenges and foster cooperation among the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic, its Central Asian neighbors, the other regional powers, and our European partners.

Recognizing the essential role that the Kyrgyz Republic plays in the war against terrorism, we declare our intention to cooperate in this war to its conclusion and within the framework of the international coalition. We emphasize our support for the Afghan Transitional Administration and the goal that it be at peace internally and with its neighbors and integrated into the regional and international economic structures. We also express our readiness to support Afghanistan's reconstruction and the development of its natural and human resources.

In the spirit of partnership, the Kyrgyz Republic and the United States intend to strengthen joint activity to ensure security and stability in Central Asia. We agree that the expansion of trade and economic ties among the states of Central Asia, and deepening of regional integration in important areas such as the environment, water resources, and transportation systems, are a basis for regional security and prosperity. The United States is enhancing assistance programs to the Kyrgyz Republic to strengthen border security and to increase the defensive capabilities of the Armed Forces of the Kyrgyz Republic.

We recognize that free-market economies, democratic political systems, and the rule of law provide the most effective means to advance the welfare of our citizens and the stability of our societies. The United States and the Kyrgyz Republic pledge to develop further our bilateral trade and investment relations, including through expanded contacts between the business communities of our countries. We are united in our mutual efforts to cooperate to accelerate the development of an attractive, transparent, and predictable investment climate in the Kyrgyz Republic. Achieving this goal requires the removal of legislative and administrative barriers to investment, strengthening respect for contracts and the rule of law, reducing corruption, and enhancing the Kyrgyz Republic's strong record on economic reform.

We reaffirm our commitment to work diligently and on a regular and sustained basis in the areas specified in the Memorandum of Understanding signed in Washington on February 15, 2002, with the goal of strengthening the economic component of our bilateral cooperation. In accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding, both sides have agreed that a high-level Kyrgyz government delegation will visit Washington in October 2002 for the purpose of further identifying realistic and achievable objectives aimed at accelerating economic reforms and development in the Kyrgyz Republic.

Recognizing that democracy is a cornerstone of long-term stability, we reaffirm our desire to strengthen democratic institutions and processes, such as civil society, independent media, local government, political pluralism, and free and fair elections. We also reaffirm our mutual commitments to advance the rule of law and promote freedom of religion and other universal human rights as enshrined by the founding documents of the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, of which we are both members. Finally, we confirm our mutual efforts to enhance understanding between the citizens of our two countries by promoting people-to-people exchanges, initiatives of non-governmental organizations, and contacts between business people.

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