BRUSSELS, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Kyrgyzstan has many challenges ahead in terms of social and political reforms, the president of the European Commission said Tuesday.
EC President Jose Barosso met Tuesday in Brussels with Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev. Atambayev secured the presidency by winning 63 percent of the vote in a post-coup election in 2011.
At least 400 people were killed in post-coup violence pitting members of the ethnic Uzbek community against Kyrgyz rivals.
Barosso said the European Union was committed to working alongside Kyrgyzstan as it moves forward on democratic and socioeconomic reforms.
"Building and living in democracy is by definition an unfinished job," he said in a statement. "Kyrgyzstan still faces many challenges, in upholding the rule of law, respecting human rights and promoting inter-ethnic reconciliation."
Atambayev was quoted by Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg as telling the EU it was the people who gave the government its authority to lead.
"I am sure that we will build a democratic country with a parliamentary development system," he said. "We invite the representatives of the European Parliament to visit the Kyrgyz Republic."
Kyrgyz parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for 2015.