WhatsApp Image 2018 04 18 at 09.45.00OSCE PA President George Tsereteli addresses the OSCE Regional Heads of Mission Meeting, 18 April 2018BISHKEK, 20 April 2018 – Concluding a working visit to Kyrgyzstan, his first to the country and the Central Asian region as President of the OSCE PA, George Tsereteli (MP, Georgia), commended today Bishkek’s strong engagement with the OSCE and called for sustained efforts to advance security and stability in the region.

In Bishkek, Tsereteli and Secretary General Roberto Montella participated in the annual meeting of the OSCE’s Heads of Field Operations in Central Asia. Both highlighted the OSCE PA’s recent and planned activities in the region and reaffirmed the Assembly’s strong support for OSCE Field Missions equipped with robust mandates.

In his remarks, President Tsereteli underlined the importance of good co-ordination both within the OSCE and with international partners, including the EU and the UN, to successfully tackle Central Asia’s challenges. He also offered the expertise of OSCE parliamentarians to support international efforts.

President Tsereteli and Secretary General Montella welcomed the active engagement of Kyrgyzstan in the OSCE PA and assessed preparations for this year’s Autumn Meeting, to be held in Bishkek on 3-6 October:

“The generous offer of the Jogorku Kenesh to host one of our statutory meetings is a valuable contribution to our work and it is widely appreciated by our Members,” said Tsereteli. “Holding our Autumn Meeting in Bishkek will provide a great opportunity to reaffirm the Asian dimension of our work and for OSCE parliamentarians to debate crucial issues for Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia, and the rest of the OSCE region.”

This visit was also an occasion to follow-up on domestic developments since last October’s presidential election. President Tsereteli’s visit coincided with significant political developments as a new government was formed.

WhatsApp Image 2018 04 20 at 11.47.48OSCE PA President George Tsereteli with Kyrgyz Head of Delegation Isa Omurkulov, 20 April 2018 Meeting with the Head of the Delegation of Kyrgyzstan to the OSCE PA and leader of the parliamentary majority Isa Omurkulov, as well as representatives of the Ombudsman and civil society, Tsereteli recognized Kyrgyzstan’s achievements in consolidating democratic values, while calling for continued vigilance and sustained progress on reforms.

“Last October’s election was welcomed by OSCE observers as an orderly transfer of powers from one elected president to another,” said President Tsereteli. “I remain concerned, however, by some recent developments, particularly in the field of media freedom and freedom of expression, and I encourage the Kyrgyz authorities to remain steadfast in their efforts to strengthen democratic institutions.”

President Tsereteli also highlighted the need to effectively tackle corruption, strengthen the rule of law and accelerate judicial reform to allow Kyrgyz society to develop to its full potential.

On Friday, President Tsereteli also visited the OSCE Academy for a lively exchange with students on the role of the OSCE and its Parliamentary Assembly in addressing current challenges.