US to repatriate assets stolen by Bakiyevs to Kyrgyzstan

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BISHKEK (TCA) — On February 25, the Senior Bureau Official in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, Ambassador Alice G. Wells, and Kyrgyzstan’s Minister of Finance Baktygul Jeenbaeva announced the repatriation of stolen assets to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic arising from the corruption and theft of government funds by the regime of former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev (who was ousted in 2010) and his son Maxim Bakiyev.

Currently, $4.6 million of the $6 million under the forfeiture order has been recovered and will be repatriated to the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic. The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic plans to use these funds to purchase additional recording equipment for use in the justice sector, water filtering systems for rural areas, and medical technology, the US Embassy in Bishkek said.

Ambassador Wells’ visit is the latest in a series of visits by senior U.S. government officials aiming to strengthen bilateral relations and identify opportunities to further expand cooperation between the United States and the Kyrgyz Republic.

During her visit, Ambassador Wells discussed strengthening the bilateral relationship with the Presidential Administration’s Foreign Policy Advisor Daniyar Sydykov and Deputy Foreign Minister Azizbek Madmarov from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The two governments agreed to begin negotiations on a Bilateral Cooperation Agreement and restart Annual Bilateral Consultations this spring. Ambassador Wells discussed with Kyrgyz officials the peace process in Afghanistan and ways our two countries could support stability and prosperity. Ambassador Wells also discussed U.S. engagement and policy in Central Asia with members of the American University of Central Asia’s C5+1 Youth Council and journalism students.

Sergey Kwan

TCA