the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Readout of the Meeting of the President and National Security Advisor with Kyrgyzstani President Roza Otunbayeva

President Obama joined a meeting with National Security Advisor Tom Donilon and Kyrgyzstani President Roza Otunbayeva in the White House to discuss U.S. – Kyrgyzstani relations and U.S. support for Kyrgyzstan’s democracy.  
Mr. Donilon congratulated President Otunbayeva on the Women of Courage Award that the State Department will present to her on March 8. He noted that her courage in leading Kyrgyzstan through a difficult transition to democracy provides hope for Central Asia and inspiration for people around the world who are pursuing their universal rights.  They discussed the challenges posed by the efforts to strengthen democracy, meet urgent humanitarian needs and foster economic growth.  They also discussed security issues such as narcotics trafficking, terrorism and ways to address the nation’s economic issues.  
President Obama reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to support Kyrgyzstan’s efforts to consolidate its democracy.  He thanked Otunbayeva for Kyrgyzstan’s support for the Transit Center at Manas and said the U.S. has taken steps to improve transparency about the Transit Center and payments connected to it, and pledged to maximize the benefits for the Kyrgyz people.  President Obama and President Otunbayeva emphasized that building democracy is a daily struggle, and noted that Kyrgyzstan has taken positive steps so far to establish a parliamentary democracy and hold free and fair elections.