Terra Politica rediscovered
This is a translation of the article that Inga posted on the Russian version of neweurasia.
It’s been all about the new constitution fuss lately. We became so preoccupied, that almost missed the fact, that the new Doctrine of Foreign Politics had been adopted in Kyrgyzstan. One can argue, that the event doesn’t really deserve much attention. But, I would say it does matter, considering the fact that it took almost 2 year for the new regime to realize, that some new standards and priorities in foreign politics should be set.
After the Doctrine was signed by the president, Kurmanbek Bakiev attended the presentation of the newly restored building of the Ministry of Foreign Affaires. The money for the refurbishment of the building came from China and the president took this chance to complain about malpractices of “embassies” that are used to take decisions, running counter to the general line of foreign politics of Kyrgyzstan.
“That’s why,”-Bakiev said,-“the new Doctrine is vital for the country.” He also mentioned: “It’s been happening all the time after the events in March 2005. It was a real mess when were trying to appoint new ambassadors. It shouldn’t be the case any more. The new Doctrine of Foreign Politics states, that all those decisions should be coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affaires”
The president, probably, meant the poor conduct of the journalist Zamira Sydikova, who was picked up to be the Kyrgyz ambassador in Washington. Bakiev said that it’s worth strategizing more carefully, when it comes to appointing high-ranking diplomats.The Minister of Foreigh Affaires Alykbek Djekshenkulov also emphasized, that he had an intention to fight against unfair old boys-network-style appointments of diplomats. He mentioned:
“ Our ministry should be very dynamic, with professional stuff, specially educated and trained for diplomatic work. Unfortunately, nowadays we’ve got too many non-professional people,working abroad in our diplomatic missions. I’ll be discussing this issue with the president, urging him to pay more attention. ”
The Doctrine itself, though, doesn’t reflect on the issues of professionals. It is mainly devoted to outlining general priorities in foreign politics. Experts already said that the document was all about clichés. One of the main clichés in it – the policy of multi dimensional approach.
The documents reads, for example: “The foreign policy of Kyrgyzstan should be concentrated on regional, continental and global circles of interaction”. According to the authors of the Doctrine, this goal should be achieved by sticking to developing “Kyrgyz-Russian-English cultural identity” along with developing such national brands as Issyk-Kul, Aytmatov and Great Silk Road. This should, supposedly, contribute the uniqueness “of the geostrategic location of Kyrgyzstan, which is created by the fact, that both Russian and American military bases are located here”.
According to the document, main strategic partners in international cooperation for Kyrgyzstan are (in the exact order of the Doctrine): Russia, China, USA, EU, Germany, Japan, India. The last in the list is the old friend of Kyrgyzstan- Turkey.
In general, all potential foreign investors should be welcomed in Kyrgyzstan, the document states. This was, probably, one of the reasons for China to become the second in the list of priority partners. According to my source in the Ministry of Foreign Affaires, the preference was given to China, because Kyrgyz leaders are currently trying to get political support of Chineese “dragons” in order to be able to get more investments from this superpower. Mars Sariev used to be a stuff member of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs. His comments are:
”China is annoyed by the presence of American military in Manas, thus, to please its new Chinese friends, Kyrgyzstan from time to time crosses the line and starts diplomatic attacks against Americans. Beijing and Moscow encourage such things. Kyrgyzstan is trying to use this fact to counterbalance American influence somehow. ”