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US Ambassador Congratulates RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service On 60th Anniversary

US Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Pamela Spratlen, speaking at a celebration of Radio Azattyk's 60th anniversary in Bishkek, 7 June 2013.
RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service celebrated its 60th anniversary on June 7 at the Kyrgyz State Opera and Ballet Theater in the capital city, Bishkek. One of the attendees at the celebration, US Ambassador Pamela Spratlen, recently sent a letter of congratulations and appreciation for the work of the Kyrgyz Service, known locally as Radio Azattyk to RFE/RL Acting President and CEO Kevin Klose.

In her letter, Ambassador Spratlen noted "Azattyk's professional coverage of the events of June 2010," when inter-ethnic violence erupted between the country's Kyrgyz and Uzbek populations, and expressed appreciation to Azattyk for continuing to "to provide unbiased information and promote reconciliation efforts." She also thanked Azattyk for allowing her the opportunity "to set the record straight" and clear up rumors that spread in the wake of the May 2013 crash of a US military aircraft at the Manas airport.

Ambassador Spratlen called Azattyk "a pivotal resource for helping the Kyrgyz Republic attain its ambitious media and democracy goals," noting that, "as one of the few Kyrgyz-language media outlets that had broad trust among the population, Azattyk's influence and audience will continue to grow."

Read the entire letter here.