Kyrgyzstan is a former Soviet republic located in the mountainous terrain of Central Asia that achieved independence in 1991. Its population of about 5.4 million is primarily Sunni Muslim. Its geographic location—alongside China and near Afghanistan—has made this quiet agrarian nation a key interest to the United States.
Lay of the Land: This predominantly mountainous country in Central Asia is bordered by China to the east, Tajikistan to the south, and Uzbekistan to the west and Kazakhstan to the north.
The United States recognized Kyrgyzstan’s independence on December 26, 1991, and established its Embassy in the capital Bishkek on Feb. 1, 1992. The Clinton Administration’s Central Asian policy sought to eliminate residual Russian imperialism in the region. For Kyrgyzstan this meant receiving millions in economic aid from the US. Also, the United States helped Kyrgyzstan join the World Trade Organization in December 1998.
The U.S. began using Kyrgyzstan's Manas Air Base shortly after it began operations in Afghanistan following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. The base, which is at the main airport outside the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, handled about 50,000 U.S. personnel coming and going from Afghanistan in March 2010, along with 500 tons of goods.
The US exports far more than it imports when it comes to Kyrgyzstan. Exports in 2009 totaled $51.9 million, while imports tallied only $6 million.
The United States, Role Concerning Human Rights Abuses in Kyrgyzstan
Appointment: Aug 11, 1992
Presentation of Credentials: Sep 17, 1992
Termination of Mission: Left post, Oct 11, 1994
Muktar Djumaliev became ambassador of Kyrgyzstan to the United States in December 2010.
Pamela L. Spratlen was sworn in as U.S. Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic on April 15, 2011.
Tatiana C. Gfoeller began serving as US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan on October 22, 2008. Gfoeller has a Bachelors of Science and a Masters of Science from Georgetown University, in addition to a Certificate of International Law Studies from the University of Florence. She speaks Russian, French, Polish, Italian, Spanish, and Arabic.