Kyrgyzstan

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs written question – answered on 12th July 2005.

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Photo of Greg Hands Greg Hands Conservative, Hammersmith and Fulham

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps he has taken to establish the welfare of the Uzbek and Kyrgyz citizens in Djalabad's refugee camps.

Photo of Douglas Alexander Douglas Alexander Minister of State (Europe)

Our Ambassador, James Sharp, who is accredited to Kyrgyzstan, has visited the country twice since early June 2005. On the first occasion, he publicly emphasised the importance of the Kyrgyz Government's honouring its international commitments on refugees. Both the Kyrgyz Foreign Minister and National Security Council Chairman assured him that the Government would do so. Mr. Sharp also met the local United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) representatives to review the refugee situation.

The handing of four Uzbek refugees to the Andizhan Prosecutor on 9 June appears to have been a clear breach of the Kyrgyz Government's obligations. As a result, on 21 June we, acting with our EU partners, delivered a demarche to the Kyrgyz Government over its treatment of refugees, insisting that it abided by its commitments to the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees.

Mr. Sharp visited the refugee camps in Jalalabad on 6 July. We will continue to monitor the situation closely, and press the Kyrgyz Government to comply with its international responsibilities.

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