TASHKENT/BISHKEK/BERLIN | | kirgistanusbekistan

TASHKENT/BISHKEK/BERLIN (Own report) - With their brief stopovers in several Central Asian countries, German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Chancellor Angela Merkel are seeking to secure Germany's position, which has become unstable in these countries. On Friday, Westerwelle will meet the Kyrgyz transitional president, who took office following the recent upheavals in that country. The current Kyrgyz government's close cooperation with Russia is threatening western influence. Observers are also warning that renewed unrest in Kyrgyzstan could spread to Uzbekistan and endanger its authoritarian regime, which for years has been receiving German support - including military aid. The Nabucco Pipeline project, which is to supply Europe with natural gas from the Caspian Basin bypassing Russia, is also in jeopardy. Not only Russian influence is growing in Central Asia. The People's Republic of China is also strengthening its position, seeking to secure access to the region's natural resources. Kazakhstan, where the German chancellor and foreign minister will arrive on the weekend is of special importance. more…

BISHKEK/BERLIN/WASHINGTON | | kirgistan

BISHKEK/BERLIN/WASHINGTON (Own report) - Political advisors of the International Crisis Group are criticizing western policy toward Central Asia. In a recently published study, the globally active think tank considers that the overthrow of the government in Kyrgyzstan shows that Central Asia's authoritarian regimes are incapable of establishing reliable relations in their countries. Their "semblance of calm" is, in the short run, quite "attractive" to the West, seeking to realize its geostrategic objectives in the competition for raw materials, but it does not correspond to the long-term interests of western influence. Actually the International Crisis Group has for years been warning of a possible collapse of the Bishkek government, as it occurred this year - to the disadvantage of the western countries position in Central Asia. Even Berlin has been placing its bets on the authoritarian regimes of the region, to obtain access to the natural gas deposits and to secure its military transports to Afghanistan - and is relying on them in its efforts to win new influence in Kyrgyzstan currently rocked by a bloody unrest. more…

BISHKEK/BERLIN | | kirgistan

BISHKEK/BERLIN (Own report) - Since the change of government in Kyrgyzstan, Berlin has again been seeking to win influence for the EU in Bishkek, to reinforce Europe's standing vis à vis the United States. The CDU affiliated Konrad Adenauer Foundation is calling on Brussels to engage itself "more energetically than it has in the past" to project its interests in Central Asia. Berlin is counting on closer cooperation with the recently installed provisional Kyrgyz government - a move that the USA and some of the EU member states frown upon. The German government's human rights commissioner declared that he expects Washington to "rally to our political signal". Over the past few years, the United States had predominated western policy in relation to Kyrgyzstan, where it maintains a strategically important military base, which, at the moment, is mainly being used for logistic supplies to Afghanistan but is also in a position to support subversive activities in the People's Republic of China. But Washington lost influence when the president it had supported was forced to flee into exile. Berlin is hoping to step in and reinforce its influence in Bishkek. more…