22 Sep 2022 16:47

Kyrgyzstan not considering withdrawal from CSTO - Kyrgyz Security Council secretary

BISHKEK. Sept 22 (Interfax) - Kyrgyzstan is interested in being a member of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) and is not considering withdrawing from the organization, Kyrgyz Security Council Secretary Marat Imankulov told Interfax.

"The CSTO membership meets the interests of Kyrgyzstan, and a withdrawal from the organization is not being considered," Imankulov said.

There have been public calls for quitting the CSTO in the context of the armed conflict on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border, he said.

"We believe that such a defensive organization is necessary, especially against the backdrop of threats and challenges to our region. It's hard to resist these threats alone, no matter how powerful a country is. So, we should stay in the CSTO and protect our countries from threats together," Imankulov said.

He added that CSTO members should not use force against one another or else other members might demand that the aggressor be expelled from the CSTO.

"Problems arising in relations between member states should be resolved by exclusively peaceful means, through negotiations. If any one member tries to use force, we suggest it be ousted from the organization. What's the point in joining the CSTO and expecting protection from external threats if you have a conflict with another organization member? We propose that certain clauses of the charter be reviewed, but this option is just being explored," Imankulov said.

An armed conflict broke out on the Kyrgyz-Tajik border on September 14. Both sides reported casualties and traded accusations of armed aggression.

The Kyrgyz Health Ministry reported the deaths of 59 people and the injuries of another 198 in the resulting armed clashes. The Kyrgyz Emergency Situations Ministry said that more than 700 facilities, including 364 residential houses, were destroyed and over 142,000 people were evacuated from the conflict zone.

Currently, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are honoring the ceasefire and disengagement agreements.