BISHKEK. The Legislative Assembly (lower chamber) of the Kyrgyz Parliament started today's work with hearing of a deputy foreign minister, Jeenbek Kulubayev, on the Kyrgyz government stance over the Iraq crisis. Recently (on March 12) the foreign ministry made a statement calling every sides of the Iraqi crisis to resolve all the issues by peaceful means. Kulubayev told lawmakers today that the government's policy remains the same. Regarding reasons of the Iraq war, he said that the Baghdad regime is responsible for the event: "In another words, we assume that Saddam Hussein`s regime brought the country to the war. The outcome was warned by Russia and China. We had several consultations (with other countries), all the states said: "if Saddam Hussein goes away, there is a possibility of avoiding the war". Kulubayev also stressed that the international forces based in the Ganci airbase near Bishkek will not be used for the Iraq war: "The second issue is that I will repeat it on behalf of the ministry (of foreign affairs) that the Ganci airbase will not participate in the Iraq (military) operations in any case. They will be involved solely in the Afghanistan problems."
Captain Elizabeth Oatiz, a spokesperson of the International anti-terrorist coalition based in Ganci airbase at the Manas airport told RFE/RL today that "the coalition forces based here, conduct operations for war on terrorism in Afghanistan. Military actions in Iraq does not change that," said Oatiz.
Deputy chairman of the national security service, Tokon Mamytov, told lawmakers today that the Iraq war might be a stimulation for terrorist groups in the world. The law-enforcement bodies of Kyrgyzstan have strengthened the security measures, especially in guarding the foreign embassies and other main premises.
Deputies, Socialist Omurbek Tekebayev, and Communist Beishebek Akunov criticized the USA for choosing the military path. Another opposition deputy, Ishenbai Kadyrbekov criticized the Kyrgyz government for its open opposition to the American policy on Iraq. Kadyrbekov appealed to the Kyrgyz government to carry out a policy of balance and neutrality.