Population: 6,033,769 (as of 2016)
Total area: total: 199,951 sq km
Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous Central Asian country of incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions. It is a place defined by incredible magnificence: joyously unspoilt mountainscapes, stark craggy ridges, and rolling summer pastures are brought to life by semi-nomadic, yurt-dwelling shepherd cultures.
A Central Asian state bordering China, Kyrgyzstan became independent with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. It has some oil and gas and a developing gold mining sector, but relies on imports for most of its energy needs. Settled by Kyrgyz tribes from southern Siberia in the 17th century, the area was ruled by various regional powers before coming under Russian, and then Soviet, rule.
Most of its six million people are Turkic-speaking Muslims.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Kyrgyzstan in 1991 following Kyrgyzstan’s independence from the Soviet Union. The two countries have a strong partnership. The United States supports Kyrgyzstan in its development of an inclusive democracy based upon the rule of law and respect for human rights. Kyrgyzstan’s 2011 presidential election marked the first peaceful transfer of presidential power in post-Soviet Central Asia. Significant impediments to Kyrgyzstan’s development include corruption, aging infrastructure, high unemployment, and endemic poverty. Kyrgyzstan, however, benefits from a robust civil society and a relatively free media sector.
U.S. Assistance to Kyrgyzstan
U.S. Government assistance goals in Kyrgyzstan are to strengthen democratic institutions, support broad-based economic opportunity, enhance regional security, promote greater respect for human rights and the rule of law, provide assistance for basic humanitarian needs, and to address development challenges in the health and education areas.
Kyrgyzstan’s Membership in International Organizations
Kyrgyzstan and the United States belong to a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and World Trade Organization. Kyrgyzstan also is a participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace program.