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Kyrgyzstan Ditches Key Treaty With U.S.

In the face of widespread hopes of a last-minute change of heart, Kyrgyzstan’s government has torn up a foundational treaty in the Central Asian nation’s ties with the United States.

By signing off on the cancellation of the 1993 treaty on July 21, Prime Minister Temir Sariev stands to endanger the millions of dollars worth of assistance that Washington provides to Kyrgyzstan every year.

Bishkek has adopted the measure in response to the U.S. State Department bestowing the 2014 Human Rights Defender Award on jailed activist Azimjan Askarov.

In September 2010, Askarov, an ethnic Uzbek, was sentenced to life imprisonment for what Kyrgyz authorities say was his role in inciting the mob killing of a police officer during the ethnic unrest in June that year. Western governments and advocacy groups have regularly mounted staunch defenses of Askarov, saying that he was framed and later found guilty in a trial marred by irregularities.

The U.S. award enraged Bishkek, which has described the recognition of Askarov as an attempt to destabilize the country and sow interethnic tension. 

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Kyrgyzstan Ditches Key Treaty With U.S.

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