The FINANCIAL — European foreign ministers will discuss the situation in Kyrgyzstan, where the opposition took power amid a bloody uprising earlier this month, along with other issues during a meeting in Luxemburg on April 26, a spokesman for the EU's Council of Ministers has said, according to RIA Novosti.
Large-scale anti-government protests swept Kyrgyzstan on April 6-7, claiming the lives of at least 80 people and leading to the overthrow of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Bakiyev has fled the country and is now taking refuge in Belarus.
The situation in the Central Asian republic remains strained. The self-declared interim government urgently needs funds and fuel to normalize conditions in the impoverished state.
The spokesman said Monday's discussions will also focus on cooperation between the European Union and its strategic partners, including Russia.
The 27 foreign ministers are also expected to hold a joint meeting with European defense ministers, during which they are planning to discuss the situation in Afghanistan.
The NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and a separate U.S.-led coalition, involved in Operation Enduring Freedom, have about 89,000 troops in Afghanistan. U.S. President Barack Obama plans to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan in the first part of 2010 to defeat the Taliban and establish law and order in the war-torn country. Other NATO members have also pledged to send 7,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.