Vaira Vike-Freiberga, former President of Latvia and Club of Madrid member, led an assessment mission to Kyrgyzstan on August 10-13 with the support of the European Commission to analyze the feasibility and the commitment of Kyrgyz authorities for a 12-month Club of Madrid project. The project would contribute to the consolidation of representative, inclusive and sustainable democratic governance in Kyrgyzstan, as well as efforts at reconciliation to address the ethnic issues in the south.
The possibility of Club of Madrid activity was warmly welcomed by President Rosa Otunbayeva, Deputy Prime Minister Amangeldy Muraliev, political party leaders, civil society organizations and other Kyrgyz and international stakeholders including the EU, UN and OSCE in Bishkek. President Otunbayeva stressed the importance of this potential Club of Madrid support to the transition to democracy already taking place in the Central Asian country and welcomed a future project.
During this initial mission, the Club of Madrid delegation led by President Vike-Freiberga met with Kyrgyz political and civil society leaders from all the parts of the political spectrum. The delegation also identified specific needs for the transition period, including reconciliation efforts after the recent crisis in the south of the country, promoting the rule of law and comprehensive judicial reform, strengthening political parties and professionalizing government functions.
The mission also met with the diplomatic community in Bishkek and received on the ground support from the Soros Foundation-Kyrgyzstan and the Bishkek office of the International Crisis Group.