Wraps Up Middle East,
Central Asia Trip in Kyrgyzstan
Kathleen T. Rhem
BASE, Kyrgyzstan – Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld
wrapped up a four-day whirlwind trip through the Middle East
and Central Asia by telling
U.S. troops here they’re playing a significant role in the war on terrorism
and in improving the lives of the Afghan and Iraqi people.
“The good Lord willing, those two countries … will be on a path
of freedom, a path where people have the right and privilege of helping to guide
and direct their country, and the economic opportunities that come from free
economic systems,” Rumsfeld said. “And you’ll be able to look
back and know in your hearts you were a part of that.”
a little over an hour with the 800 U.S. servicemembers, predominantly
airmen, and 100 Spanish air force troops at this key aerial-refueling
and strategic-airlift hub on the outskirts of the Kyrgyz capital,
The U.S. military
has maintained a presence here since December 2001, supporting
coalition efforts in Afghanistan. The base is known informally
as Ganci Air Base, after Peter Ganci, the senior New York fireman
killed on Sept. 11, 2001. Air Force Capt. DeJon Redd, a base
spokesman, explained the name can’t be changed officially
because the Air Force stipulates that bases outside the United
States are not named after Americans.
met with the troops in “Pete’s Place,” a cavernous
tent primarily used for morale, welfare and recreation activities.
Redd said “Beer and Bingo Night” is an especially
popular activity. U.S. troops here are allowed two beers each
on Wednesdays and Saturdays, he said.
assigned here generally serve four-month tours and are mostly
restricted to the base. “Our focus here is launching aircraft,” Redd
said. “So there’s not a lot of off-base activities
for our airmen.”
Not far from
Pete’s Place, construction of prefabricated dormitories
can be seen. Base officials hope to move airmen out of the tents
they’ve been living in into the more permanent structures
by fall. Redd said that timeframe isn’t guaranteed because
the area has had an especially harsh winter, delaying construction.
The Tien Shan mountain range covers 95 percent of the country’s
A cold rain
was beating on the tent’s roof and the roar of jets could
be heard overhead as Rumsfeld looked out into a sea of tan uniforms
and told the 400-plus troops assembled that their mission supporting
efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq is vital.
not an easy thing to move from despotism to a democracy,” Rumsfeld
said, referring to Iraq’s efforts to build its first freely
elected government. “But they’re making good headway.”
Manas Air Base, Rumsfeld met with local leaders in Bishkek’s “White
House,” which houses the presidential offices.
met with the country’s acting president, Prime Minister
Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who assumed the presidency March 28 after
former President Askar Akayev fled the country to Moscow after
a bloodless coup March 24. Rumsfeld also met with the acting
ministers of defense and state. National elections are scheduled
The White House
had been looted after the March power grab. Little damage was
evident, but the vast marble building appeared scantily furnished
and was barely heated.
At a joint
news conference after the meetings, Bakiyev said the United States
will continue to have use of Manas Air Base. Through a translator,
he said he assured Rumsfeld that “the Kyrgyz Republic will
comply with all the international agreements we have signed.”
president dismissed a suggestion of expanding the U.S. base here
and denied rumors circulating through local media that the United
States is considering stationing Airborne Warning and Control
System aircraft at Manas.
not think there’s any need to increase the presence of
any military troops in the Kyrgyz Republic,” he said.
Kyrgyzstan for continued support in the war on terror and said
he told the country’s interim leadership “that the
United States is wishing them well in the important work that
they’re engaged in in building a stable and modern and
to Kyrgyzstan this morning after spending the night in Islamabad,
Pakistan. The previous evening he had met with Pakistani President
Pervez Musharraf. The two discussed the situations and Iraq and
Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism.
been a strong ally in combating terrorism in the region and is
strategically important because it shares a border with Afghanistan.
A senior defense
official said Rumsfeld is encouraged by the evolving relationship
between Musharraf and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “It’s
a healthy thing,” the official said, specifically referring
to the “Tripartite Group” of representatives from
the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan that meets regularly
to discuss efforts to thwart al Qaeda and Taliban actions and
other matters affecting the region.
Washington April 11, Rumsfeld spent one day in Iraq and one day
in Afghanistan, greeting U.S. troops and meeting with U.S. military
and local government leaders. He also made an overnight stop
and met with local leaders in Baku, Azerbaijan.
State Department Background Notes on Kyrgyzstan
OFFICIAL NAME: Kyrgyz
77,181 sq. mi.
Cities: Bishkek (capital), Osh, Djalalabad, Talas.
Terrain: 90% mountainous, with some desert regions. Elevation
extremes–lowest point: Kulundy village in the Batken province
401 m; highest point: Jengish
Chokusu (Pik Pobedy) 7,439 m.
Population (Jan. 2004): 5,037,800.
Annual growth rate (2003): 0.99%.
Ethnic groups (Jan. 2003): Kyrgyz 67%; Russian 11%; Uzbek 14%; Dungan (ethnic
Chinese Muslims) 1%; Uighurs 1%; Tatars 0.9% German 0.3%; other 4.8%.
Main religions: Islam; Russian Orthodox .
Language: State–Kyrgyz; official (2001)–Russian.
Education: Nine years compulsory. Literacy–98.7%.
Health (2003): Infant mortality rate–21.2 deaths/1,000 live births. Life expectancy–68.2
Population distribution (2003): Urban 64.6%; rural 35.4%.
Independence: August 31, 1991 (from the Soviet Union).
Constitution: May 5, 1993.
Branches: Executive–president, prime minister. Legislative–parliament.
Judicial–Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, local courts,
Administrative subdivisions: Seven oblasts and the municipality of Bishkek.
Political parties and leaders: Following the rapid fall of President Akayev
and his government after February and March 2005 parliamentary elections,
opposition leaders established the ”Coordination Council of the People’s Unity” Bloc,
through which they named an interim government (See Government and Political
Conditions). The Coordination Council is chaired by Kurmanbek Bakiev and consists
of the following members: Ishengul Boljurova, Rosa Otunbaeva, Daniyar Usenov,
Azimbek Beknazarov, Akhilbek Japarov, Topchubek Turgunaliev, Ishenbai Moldotoashev,
Viktor Chernomorets, and Jypar Jeksheev.
2003, $1.9 billion; 2002, $1.6 billion; 2001, $1.5 billion.
GDP growth rate in 2003: 6.7%
Inflation rate in 2003: 5.6%
GDP per capita (2001 est): $380.
Unemployment rate by official sources (as of the end of 2002): 3.1%.
resources: Abundant hydropower; significant deposits of gold and rare earth
metals; locally exploitable coal, oil, and natural gas; other deposits
of iron, bauxite, copper, tin, molybdenum, mercury, and antimony.
Agriculture: Products–tobacco, cotton, wheat, vegetables (potatoes, sugar beets, beans),
fruits (apples, apricots, peaches, grapes), berries; sheep,
goats, cattle; wool.
Industry: Types–small machinery (electric motors, transformers), light industry
(cotton and wool processing, textiles, food processing), construction materials
(cement, glass, slate), shoes, furniture, mining, energy.
(2002)–$485.5 million: cotton, wool, meat, tobacco, gold, mercury,
uranium, hydropower, machinery,
shoes. Partners–Switzerland 19.4%, Russia
16.2%, United Arab Emirates 13.5%, China 8.8%, U.S. 7.9%, Kazakhstan 7.8%.
Imports–$586.7 million: oil and gas, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs.
Partners–Kazakhstan 21.5%, Russia 19.5%, Uzbekistan 10.2%, China 10%, U.S.
8.2%, Germany 5%, Netherlands 2.8%.
Total external debt in 2003 was $1.8 billion (93% of GDP), of which the share
of the public sector was $1.6 billion.
recent findings of Kyrgyz and Chinese historians, Kyrgyz history
dates back to 201 B.C. The earliest descendents
of the Kyrgyz people, who are
believed to be of Turkic descent, lived in the northeastern part of what
is currently Mongolia. Later, some of their tribes migrated to
the region that
is currently southern Siberia and settled along the Yenisey River, where
they lived from the 6th until the 8th centuries. They spread
across what is now
the Tuva region of the Russian Federation, remaining in that area until the
rise of the Mongol Empire in the 13th century, when the Kyrgyz began migrating
south. In the 12th century, Islam became the predominant religion in the
region. Most Kyrgyz are Sunni Muslims of the Hanafi school.
15th-16th centuries, the Kyrgyz people settled in the territory
currently known as the Kyrgyz Republic. In the early 19th century,
the southern territory of the Kyrgyz Republic came under the
control of the Khanate of Kokand, and the territory was formally
incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1876. The Russian takeover
instigated numerous revolts against tsarist authority, and many
Kyrgyz opted to move into the Pamir mountains or to Afghanistan.
The suppression of the 1916 rebellion in Central Asia caused
many Kyrgyz to migrate to China.
was initially established in the region in 1918, and in 1924,
the Kara-Kyrgyz Autonomous Oblast was created within the Russian
Federal Socialist Republic. (The term Kara-Kyrgyz was used until
the mid-1920s by the Russians to distinguish them from the Kazakhs,
who were also referred to as Kyrgyz.) In 1926, it became the
Kyrgyz Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. On December 5, 1936,
the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) was established as
a full Union Republic of the U.S.S.R.
1920s, the Kyrgyz Republic saw considerable cultural, educational,
and social change. Economic and social development also was notable.
Literacy increased, and a standard literary language was introduced.
The Kyrgyz language belongs to the Southern Turkic group of languages.
In 1924, an Arabic-based Kyrgyz alphabet was introduced, which
was replaced by Latin script in 1928. In 1941 Cyrillic script
was adopted. Many aspects of the Kyrgyz national culture were
retained despite suppression of nationalist activity under Joseph
Stalin, who controlled the Soviet Union from the late 1920’s
The early years
of glasnost in the late 1980s had little effect on the political
climate in the Kyrgyz Republic. However, the republic’s press
was permitted to adopt a more liberal stance and to establish
a new publication, Literaturny Kirghizstan, by the Union of Writers.
Unofficial political groups were forbidden, but several groups
that emerged in 1989 to deal with an acute housing crisis were
permitted to function.
In June 1990,
ethnic tensions between Uzbeks and Kyrgyz surfaced in an area
of the Osh Oblast, where Uzbeks form a majority of the population.
Violent confrontations ensued, and a state of emergency and curfew
were introduced. Order was not restored until August 1990.
The early 1990s
brought measurable change to the Kyrgyz Republic. The Kyrgyzstan
Democratic Movement (KDM) had developed into a significant political
force with support in parliament. In an upset victory, Askar
Akayev, the president of the Kyrgyz Academy of Sciences, was
elected to the presidency in October 1990. The following January,
Akayev introduced new government structures and appointed a new
government comprised mainly of younger, reform-oriented politicians.
In December 1990, the Supreme Soviet voted to change the republic’s
name to the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. (In 1993, it became the Kyrgyz
Republic.) In February 1991, the name of the capital, Frunze,
was changed back to its pre-revolutionary name–Bishkek.
moves toward independence, economic realities seemed to work
against secession from the U.S.S.R. In a referendum on the preservation
of the U.S.S.R. in March 1991, 88.7% of the voters approved a
proposal to retain the U.S.S.R. as a "renewed federation."
On August 19,
1991, when the State Committee for the State of Emergency (SCSE)
assumed power in Moscow, there was an attempt to depose Akayev
in Kyrgyzstan. After the coup collapsed the following week, Akayev
and Vice President German Kuznetsov announced their resignations
from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), and the
entire politburo and secretariat resigned. This was followed
by the Supreme Soviet vote declaring independence from the U.S.S.R.
on August 31, 1991. Kyrgyz was announced as the state language
in September 1991. (In December 2001, through a constitutional
amendment, the Russian language was given official status.)
1991, Akayev ran unopposed and was elected President of the new
independent republic by direct ballot, receiving 95% of the votes
cast. Together with the representatives of seven other republics,
he signed the Treaty of the New Economic Community that same
month. On December 21, 1991, the Kyrgyz Republic formally entered
the new Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
In 1993, allegations
of corruption against Akayev’s closest political associates blossomed
into a major scandal. One of those accused of improprieties was
Prime Minister Chyngyshev, who was dismissed for ethical reasons
in December. Following Chyngyshev’s dismissal, Akayev dismissed
the government and called upon the last communist premier, Apas
Djumagulov, to form a new one. In January 1994, Akayev initiated
a referendum asking for a renewed mandate to complete his term
of office. He received 96.2% of the vote.
A new constitution
was passed by the parliament in May 1993. In 1994, however, the
parliament failed to produce a quorum for its last scheduled
session prior to the expiration of its term in February 1995.
President Akayev was widely accused of having manipulated a boycott
by a majority of the parliamentarians. Akayev, in turn, asserted
that the communists had caused a political crisis by preventing
the legislature from fulfilling its role. Akayev scheduled an
October 1994 referendum, overwhelmingly approved by voters, which
proposed two amendments to the constitution–one that would allow
the constitution to be amended by means of a referendum, and
the other creating a new bicameral parliament called the Jogorku
the two legislative chambers–a 35-seat full-time assembly and
a 70-seat part-time assembly–were held in February 1995 after
campaigns considered remarkably free and open by most international
observers, although the election-day proceedings were marred
by widespread irregularities. Independent candidates won most
of the seats, suggesting that personalities prevailed over ideologies.
The new parliament convened its initial session in March 1995.
One of its first orders of business was the approval of the precise
constitutional language on the role of the legislature.
24, 1995, President Akayev was reelected for another 5-year term
with wide support (75% of vote) over two opposing candidates.
President Akayev used government resources and state-owned media
to carry out his campaign. Three (out of six) candidates were
de-registered shortly before the election.
1996 referendum–in violation of the constitution and the law
on referendums–amended the constitution to give President Akayev
more power. Although the changes gave the president the power
to dissolve parliament, it also more clearly defined the parliament’s
powers. Since that time, the parliament has demonstrated real
independence from the executive branch.
1998 referendum approved constitutional changes, including increasing
the number of deputies in the lower house, reducing the number
of deputies in the upper house, providing for 25% of lower house
deputies to be elected by party lists, rolling back parliamentary
immunity, introducing private property, prohibiting adoption
of laws restricting freedom of speech and mass media, and reforming
the state budget.
of parliamentary elections were held on February 20, 2000 and
March 12, 2000. With the full backing of the United States, the
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported
that the elections failed to comply with commitments to free
and fair elections and hence were invalid. Questionable judicial
proceedings against opposition candidates and parties limited
the choice of candidates available to Kyrgyz voters, while state-controlled
media only reported favorably on official candidates. Government
officials put pressure on independent media outlets that favored
the opposition. The presidential election that followed later
in 2000 also was marred by irregularities and was not declared
free and fair by international observers.
The most recent
elections were parliamentary, held February 27 and March 13,
2005. The United States agreed with the findings of the OSCE
that while the elections failed to comply with commitments to
free and fair elections, there were improvements over the 2000
elections, notably the use of indelible ink, transparent ballot
boxes, and generally good access by election observers.
against perceived fraud during the parliamentary runoff elections
in late March 2005 erupted into widespread calls for the government’s
resignation that started in Southern provinces. On March 24,
15,000 pro-opposition demonstrators called for the resignation
of the President and his regime in Bishkek. Some injuries were
reported during police clashes along with widespread looting.
Protestors seized the presidential administration building, after
which President Akayev fled to Russia. President Akayev signed
a letter of resignation in Moscow on April 4, which was accepted
by Kyrgyzstan’s new parliament on April 12, 2005.
leaders moved quickly to establish an interim government led
by Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
The 1993 constitution
defines the form of government as a democratic republic. The
includes a president and prime minister. The judicial
branch comprises a Supreme Court, a Constitutional Court, local courts, and
events in the southern district of Aksy, where six people protesting
the arbitrary arrest of an opposition politician were shot dead
by police, engendered nationwide protests. President Akayev initiated
a constitutional reform process with the participation of civic
society and opposition representatives. The process, which initially
included the participation of a broad range of government, civil,
and social representatives in an open dialogue, resulted in a
February 2003 referendum marred by voting irregularities. The
amendments to the constitution approved by the referendum resulted
in further control by the president and weakened the parliament
and the Constitutional Court. Under the new constitution, the
previously bicameral parliament became a 75-seat unicameral legislature
following the 2005 parliamentary elections.
leaders are developing a new governing structure for the country
and working to resolve outstanding constitutional issues. On
April 12, 2005, the new parliament voted to set the date for
presidential elections on July 10.
** Prime Minister– Kurmanbek Bakiyev
** Minister of Foreign Affairs–Roza Otunbayeva
** Ambassador to the U.S.–Baktybek Abdrisayev
Republic maintains an embassy in the United States at 1732 Wisconsin
Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20007 (tel.: (202) 338-5141; fax:
* As of March
25, 2005. Ministerial nominations for all ministries were named
in an emergency session of parliament on March 24, 2005 and will
be forwarded to the upper house of parliament for approval.
the backing of major Western donors, including the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), the Kyrgyz Republic has had economic difficulties
independence. Initially, these were a result of the breakup of the Soviet
trading bloc and resulting loss of markets, which impeded the republic’s
transition to a free market economy. The government has reduced expenditures,
ended most price subsidies, and introduced a value-added tax. Overall,
the government appears committed to the transition to a market economy.
Through economic stabilization and reform, the government seeks to establish
a pattern of long-term consistent growth. Reforms led to the Kyrgyz Republic’s
accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) on December 20, 1998.
Republic’s economy was severely affected by the collapse of the
Soviet Union and the resulting loss of its vast market. In 1990,
some 98% of Kyrgyz exports went to other parts of the Soviet
Union. Thus, the nation’s economic performance in the early 1990s
was worse than any other former Soviet republic except war-torn
Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan. While economic performance
has improved in the last few years, difficulties remain in securing
adequate fiscal revenues and providing an adequate social safety
is an important sector of the economy in the Kyrgyz Republic.
By the early 1990s, the private agricultural sector provided
between one-third and one-half of some harvests. In 2002 agriculture
accounted for 35.6% of GDP and about half of employment. The
Kyrgyz Republic’s terrain is mountainous, which accommodates
livestock raising, the largest agricultural activity. Main crops
include wheat, sugar beets, cotton, tobacco, vegetables, and
fruit. Wool, meat, and dairy products also are major commodities.
processing is a key component of the industrial economy, as well
as one of the most attractive sectors for foreign investment.
The Kyrgyz Republic is rich in mineral resources but has negligible
petroleum and natural gas reserves; it imports petroleum and
gas. Among its mineral reserves are substantial deposits of coal,
gold, uranium, antimony, and other rare-earth metals. Metallurgy
is an important industry, and the government hopes to attract
foreign investment in this field. The government has actively
encouraged foreign involvement in extracting and processing gold.
The Kyrgyz Republic’s plentiful water resources and mountainous
terrain enable it to produce and export large quantities of hydroelectric
Republic’s principal exports are nonferrous metals and minerals,
woolen goods and other agricultural products, electric energy,
and certain engineering goods. Its imports include petroleum
and natural gas, ferrous metals, chemicals, most machinery, wood
and paper products, some foods, and some construction materials.
Its leading trade partners include Germany, Russia, China, and
neighboring Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.
Republic exports antimony, mercury, rare-earth metals, and chemical
products to the United States. It imports grain, medicine and
medical equipment, vegetable oil, paper products, rice, machinery,
agricultural equipment, and meat from the United States. According
to the National Statistics Committee, in 2002 Kyrgyz exports
to the U.S. totaled $36.1 million; for January through September
of 2003, Kyrgyz exports to the U.S. totaled $5.5 million. In
2002 Kyrgyz imports from the U.S. totaled $47.4 million, much
of which was equipment, food products, and commodities provided
by assistance programs; for January through September of 2003,
Kyrgyz imports from the U.S. totaled $25.7 million.
Kyrgyz Republic maintains close relations with other former
Soviet countries, particularly with Kazakhstan and Russia. Recognizing
about the Russian-speaking minority in the Kyrgyz Republic, President
was sensitive to potential perceptions of discrimination. For example,
although the 1993 constitution designates Kyrgyz as the state language,
an amendment to the constitution in 2001 granted official status to the
Russian language. But in February 2004, the parliament adopted a new
language law, which was still awaiting signature by the President
when he was removed
from power in March 2005.
While the Kyrgyz
Republic initially remained in the ruble zone, stringent conditions
set by the Russian Government prompted the Kyrgyz Republic to
introduce its own currency, the som, in May 1993. Withdrawal
from the ruble zone was done with little prior notification and
initially caused tensions in the region. Both Kazakhstan and
Uzbekistan temporarily suspended trade, and Uzbekistan even introduced
restrictions tantamount to economic sanctions. Both nations feared
an influx of rubles and an increase in inflation. Uzbekistan
and Kazakhstan’s hostility toward the Kyrgyz Republic was short-lived,
and the three nations signed an agreement in January 1994 creating
an economic union. Economic cooperation within the region, though,
is still hampered by unilateral barriers created by the Kyrgyz
Republic’s neighbors. The Kyrgyz Republic has been active in
furthering regional cooperation, such as joint military exercises
with Uzbek and Kazakh troops.
sought to capitalize on its cultural and ethnic links to the
region and has found the Kyrgyz Republic receptive to cultivating
bilateral relations. The Kyrgyz Republic is a member of the OSCE,
the CIS, the WTO, and the United Nations.
The U.S. is
watching closely the quickly changing events in Kyrgyzstan and
is working with the UN, the OSCE, and the international
community to assist
Kyrgyzstan through its critical transition to a new, freely elected government.
The U.S. Government
provides humanitarian assistance, non-lethal military assistance,
and assistance to support economic and political reforms. It
also has supported the Kyrgyz Republic’s requests for assistance
from international organizations.
States helped the Kyrgyz Republic accede to the WTO in December
1998. U.S. assistance aids the Kyrgyz Republic in implementing
necessary economic, health sector, and educational reforms, and
supports economic development and conflict resolution in the
** Deputy Chief of Mission–Donald Lu
** Political-Economic Officer–Salvatore Amodeo
** Management Officer–Mona Kuntz
** USAID Director–Clifford Brown
The U.S. Embassy
in the Kyrgyz Republic is located at 171 Prospect Mira 720016
Bishkek (tel.: 996-312-55-12-41; fax: 996-312-55-12-64).
The U.S. Department
of State’s Consular Information Program provides Consular Information
Warnings, and Public Announcements. Consular Information
Sheets exist for all countries and include information on entry requirements,
currency regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the
U.S. posts in the country.
Travel Warnings are issued when the State Department recommends that Americans
avoid travel to a certain country. Public Announcements are issued as a
means to disseminate information quickly about terrorist threats
and other relatively
short-term conditions overseas that pose significant risks to the security
of American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by
calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via
the fax-on-demand system:
202-647-3000. Consular Information Sheets and Travel Warnings also are
available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page: http://travel.state.gov.
Affairs Tips for Travelers publication series, which contain information
on obtaining passports and planning a safe trip abroad, are
on the Internet and
hard copies can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S.
Government Printing Office, telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
concerning Americans traveling abroad may be obtained from the
Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-5225. For after-hours
emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-4000.
Passport Information Center (NPIC) is the U.S. Department of
State’s single, centralized public contact center for U.S. passport
information. Telephone: 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778). Customer
service representatives and operators for TDD/TTY are available
Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Eastern Time, excluding
check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline
at 877-FYI-TRIP (877-394-8747) and a web site at http://www.cdc.gov/travel/index.htm give the most recent health advisories, immunization recommendations
or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water safety
for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280)
is available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington,
DC 20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and customs
regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to travelers
also may be obtained before your departure from a country’s embassy
and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see "Principal
Government Officials" listing in this publication).
who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas are
encouraged to register their travel via the State Department’s
travel registration web site at https://travelregistration.state.gov or at the Consular section of the U.S. embassy upon arrival in
a country by filling out a short form and sending in a copy of
their passports. This may help family members contact you in
case of an emergency.
of State Web Site. Available on the Internet at http://www.state.gov,
the Department of State web site provides
timely, global access to official
U.S. foreign policy information, including Background Notes and daily press
briefings along with the directory of key officers of Foreign Service posts
provides a portal to all export-related assistance and market
information offered by the federal government and provides trade
leads, free export counseling, help with the export process,
a service of the U.S. Department of Commerce, provides authoritative
economic, business, and international trade information from
the Federal government. The site includes current and historical
trade-related releases, international market research, trade
opportunities, and country analysis and provides access to the
National Trade Data Bank.