Saakashvili Writes Akayev

by Nathan Hamm on 3/22/2005 · 4 comments

I was going to wait for tomorrow on this, but it’s too good. Mikheil Saakashvili has written Askar Akayev to prod him in the direction of democracy and to offer to serve as a negotiator.

March 22, 2005
Tbilisi, Georgia
(unofficial translation)

H.E. Askar Akaev
President of the Kyrgyz Republic

Dear President Akaev,

I am writing to you as a friend and a colleague in order to express to the great Kyrgyz nation my support in the current situation. Under your leadership and guidance, Kyrgyzstan has been transformed into a modern state and become a responsible member of the international community. These unique contributions will provide prosperity and stability for your people and the entire region.

My specific purpose in addressing you at this time is to share my concerns about current events taking place in your country. Based on my own personal experience, I have come to learn that there is no more noble cause than to support and embrace the forces of democracy, which in itself is a guarantor of stability. For as leaders and public figures, there is no greater task than to respect the will of our peoples – in order to bring about peace and lasting stability.

In support of freedom and equal rights, and a strong Kyrgyzstan, please know that I extend you a hand of friendship and support during this critical period in the history of the Kyrgyz nation. Furthermore, if you consider it helpful I also am ready to be of assistance, in any form that you would deem appropriate. Specifically, I am ready at any moment to visit your Kyrgyzstan to serve as a negotiator, moderator or friend – and to take part in the constructive discussions with the opposition.

Please consider my gesture to assist you not as interference but rather as an expression of my desire to help establish a constructive dialogue and prevent instability chaos and unrest. It is in our shared interests that Kyrgyzstan preserves its role as a democratic leader in the region. I am confident that by working together, we can achieve that outcome.


Mikheil Saakashvili

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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Laurence March 22, 2005 at 11:57 pm

This sort of grandstanding might play in the West, but it seems designed to fail, perhaps to embarass Akayev. Georgia and the Ukraine are seen as American geopolitical victories over Russia, not authentic revolutions, at least that’s how folks in Moscow saw it when I was there–not to mention Yugoslavia and Iraq.

I think it is an empty gesture by Georgia, for Western consumption. If he really wanted to prevent unrest, Saakashvili would be asking the opposition to cool it., IMHO…

Nathan March 23, 2005 at 12:26 am

You don’t prevent unrest by bottling up the public’s passions. It’s a vicious downward spiral that is horrifying if it succeeds but usually destined to fail.

I think he means it. Note where I got it from. Not the NYT or the Post, but from Maidan. Akayev surely won’t take him up on it, but he’d be a fool not to. Some of the opposition is trying to assert strength by refusing to negotiate. If they said no to Saakashvili, they’d look the fool and strengthen Akayev’s image.

But hey, I think the Russian public has one of the most absolutely fucked views of international politics the world over. Who was it that remarked that conspiracy theories rush in when God is absent? Russians may look at politics this way, but plenty of people in the republics don’t. I’m sure you met them.

Laurence March 23, 2005 at 9:34 am

Nathan, one problem is that the Washington Post editorial today declares the Kyrgyzstan crisis is a Russian-American showdown… I think that makes it one, like it or not.

Nathan March 23, 2005 at 9:38 am

Really roughly speaking (there are tons of outliers), I think there’s a generation and ideology gap on how people view international politics. I think the WaPo is a bit overheated. Sure Russia wants a certain outcome, but I don’t see them wanting it the way the WaPo thinks.

Quite honestly, too closely subscribing to any theory of international relations be it realism, international liberalism, or any of the countless other minor ones (neoconservatism is more of a set of policy goals/vision for the world than an explanation for why states do things) makes explaining away the particulars way too easy.

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