WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (U.S. Helsinki Commission) and Co-Chairman Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-FL) today released the following joint statement on the situation in Kyrgyzstan.
“We urge calm in Kyrgyzstan and express our condolences to families who have lost loved ones during the last several days of unrest. We continue to monitor events as the situation remains fluid, but it appears that, for the second time in five years, the Kyrgyz government has fallen to protesters.
“All involved should resolve the current crisis peacefully, without further violence and with respect for the rule of law. The looting should stop immediately.
“We support OSCE efforts to assist in resolving this crisis and provide a needed forum for dialogue in the country. The swift actions of OSCE Chair-in-Office Saudabayev to send a special envoy to Bishkek are to be applauded.
“We support the stated goals of the interim government to reform the constitution and electoral code and to reverse the repressive record of the previous government.
“The Tulip Revolution, which brought President Bakiev to power, did not produce the hoped-for results for the people of Kyrgyzstan and was marked by corruption and human rights violations, as noted by the U.S. State Department and many others. We hope to see a reversal of that trend in the near future so Kyrgyzstan may become the stable democracy its people deserve.”