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U.S.-Kyrgyz Republic Cooperation Program for Combating Nuclear Smuggling

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Ednan Karabayev signed on September 30, 2007, the “Program of Cooperation between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic on Combating the Smuggling of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials.”

This political agreement expresses the intention of our governments to cooperate to increase the capabilities of the Kyrgyz Republic to prevent, detect, and respond effectively to attempts to smuggle nuclear or radioactive materials.  It specifies 20 agreed steps that the two governments intend to take for this purpose.

The governments agree they will proceed along parallel paths to implement this program.  The Kyrgyz Republic intends to implement those steps that it is capable of carrying out on its own.  For those steps where assistance is needed, the United States intends to seek to identify a source, from within either the U.S. Government or the international community, to provide assistance.  This assistance will complement and be carefully coordinated with the assistance the Kyrgyz Republic receives from various U.S. and other assistance programs.

With this agreement, the U.S. and Kyrgyz governments are significantly enhancing their collaborative efforts combating the threat that nuclear or highly radioactive materials could be acquired by terrorists or others who would use them to harm us.

This is the fourth agreement concluded by the U.S. Government’s Nuclear Smuggling Outreach Initiative.  Previous agreements were completed with Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Georgia, and we intend to conclude similar agreements with about twenty additional countries where the risk of nuclear smuggling is of particular concern.  To date, eight countries and three international organizations have partnered with the U.S. providing assistance specified by these agreements.