NEWS AND EVENTS
December 15, 2010
Statement of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov at the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization(CSTO)
As it has been previously reported, on December 10 this year the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov participated and made a statement at the meeting of the Collective Security Treaty Organization in Moscow.
Distinguished Heads of States!
Allow me welcome you and express my gratitude to the Russian side, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for the warm greeting and traditional hospitality.
High on the agenda of today’s summit is to further improve the system of the CSTO.
We suppose that the initiatives in ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of the CSTO decision-making, strengthening the capacity of responding effectively to crisis situations are reasonable and timely.
Moreover, I would like to reiterate the firm conviction and the position of Uzbekistan that the mission of the CSTO is, first and foremost, the protection of the Organization’s participating states from an external threat, but not the participation in the resolution of the conflict and various clashes between the states of the CSTO and the CIS.
We believe that we must also exclude the interference or influence by the CSTO in the cases of occurring in some CSTO member-states of the so-called “violent actions” inside the country. This is our principal position and the reason why we do not sign the Agreement on Collective Rapid Reaction Force.
It is also necessary to remember that the so-called “violent actions” in some countries happen in different scenarios and can occur with direct participation and funding from external forces.
The organizers of the so-called “violent actions” should be carefully sorted out and only after that one should take one decision or another.
The events in southern Kyrgyzstan on June 10-14 this year, which must teach us a lot, once again demonstrated that the involvement of the Organization in the resolution of intra-state conflicts and crisis situations is absolutely unacceptable, without carefully analyzing their true reasons and thinking ahead all possible consequences of engaging or intervening in these processes.
On June 11-12 more than 100,000 people, primarily women, children and helpless elderly of the Uzbek nationality crossed the Uzbek border in the Ferghana Valley, escaping from the ethnic slaughter in the Osh and Jalal-Abad regions of Kyrgyzstan.
I am not going to talk about the enormous problems, what resources and means had to be mobilized in order to accommodate, feed and comfort these people to preserve order in the border area and provide them safety.
The reason of crossing the border by these people was not a good life and they did so not because they didn’t like the south of Kyrgyzstan. They lived there for centuries and shall live together with the Kyrgyz. We are convinced of this as well as the President of Kyrgyzstan Roza Otunbayeva. I am sure that this is the way out of the continuing tension in southern Kyrgyzstan.
I am not going to speak about what would have taken place on the territory of the Ferghana Valley of Uzbekistan, where about 300,000 ethnic Kyrgyz people live, if had we not kept peace amongst our nation and allowed to commit illegal actions towards them. Early in the morning of June 11 I have had a long phone conversation with Rosa Otunbayeva on her initiative. In response to her request, I assured her that no one from our side under any circumstances would cross the border of Kyrgyzstan. And I kept my word.
Osh is at a distance of just 40 kilometers from Andijan city, at a maximum, while from the border - in all 15 kilometers. I am convinced that if at this critical period had we not kept the situation under control then the inter-ethnic conflict in the southern Kyrgyzstan could have turned into an interstate conflict between Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.
In other words, the bloody events in the south of Kyrgyzstan could have been transformed into a huge fire, the consequences of which would have been difficult to predict.
The question of what were the reason, organizers and executives of these tragic events is a separate topic.
Once again I would like to draw your attention to the following fact - if even one serviceman, regardless would he be Uzbek, Kazakh or Russian, has crossed the border of Kyrgyzstan it would have given a rise to a conflict, which would be very difficult to cease.
We have enough such analogues in the CIS area. For example, more than 20 years passed, and still Armenia and Azerbaijan cannot come to a mutually acceptable agreement. While it was highly significant to prevent the escalation of the crises in those years, now both parties could have resolved the situation and reached a compromise.
I cite these examples as an evidence of the fact that in each concrete situation the true reasons of events, the so-called “violent actions” must be seriously examined.
This is exactly why Uzbekistan refrains from signing the Regulations on procedure of responding to crisis situations of the Collective Security Treaty Organization.
We also do not sign the Statement on the CSTO Peacekeeping Forces. The essence of our decision is in the fact that participation in the so-called peacekeeping forces is always a voluntary, and Uzbekistan does not intend to participate in peacekeeping operations outside its territory.
Thank you for your attention.