Cablegate Chronicles: The Kyrgyzstanis and The French

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Prince Andrew chats with British businessmen in Kyrgyzstan about corruption.


FROM: BISHKEK, KYRGYZSTAN
TO: STATE DEPARTMENT
DATE: OCTOBER 29, 2008
CLASSIFICATION: SECRET
SEE FULL CABLE


"YOU HAVE TO CURE YOURSELF OF ANOREXIA" ---------------------------------------
¶7. (C) With a mock groan, the Duke of York then exclaimed: "My God, what am I supposed to tell these people?!" More seriously, he invited his guests to suggest ways Kyrgyzstan's economic prospects and attractiveness could be improved. Everyone agreed that in his talks with the Prime Minister and others, he should emphasize the rule of law, and long-term stability.
 
¶8. (C) Agreeing with the Ambassador's point about rapid government turnover, they urged him to impress upon his hosts the importance of predictability and the sanctity of contracts in order to attract more Western investment. At the same time, they pointed out that none of this was necessary to attract Russian, Kazakh, or Chinese investments.  It appeared to them that the Kyrgyz were satisfied with their level and on the verge of "not bothering" with making the necessary improvements to attract Western investments. Returning to what is obviously a favorite theme, Prince Andrew cracked: "They won't need to make any changes to attract the French either!" Again turning thoughtful, the Prince mused that outsiders could do little to change the culture of corruption here. "They themselves have to have a change of heart. Just like you have to cure yourself of anorexia. No one else can do it for you."
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