Almazbek Atambayev was sworn in as president of Kyrgyzstan Thursday, a milestone in the central Asian republic's first peaceful transfer of power since its independence.
"With the end of the transitional time, my work as head of state has been completed. We have showed the world that we can independently choose our own path of development," Roza Otunbayeva, the country's former foreign minister who led the interim government, said at the ceremony held in the capital's National Music Hall.
"We must build a Kyrgyzstan in which every honest and decent person can feel completely free and safe, and in which charlatans, bandits and bribe-takers will be considered social outcasts," Atambayev said after taking the oath.
Kyrgyzstan should take its rightful place in the international community, and its foreign policy should serve the interests of its people, Atambayev said.
The 55-year-old new president said Kyrgyzstan is ready to continue its cooperation with all countries and international organizations.
"Our strategic partner is Russia. We intend to become a full member of the Customs Union. I am confident that this move will revive our industry, strengthen our security, open borders with neighboring countries, and improve the standard of living of our people. We have a common history and common future with Russia and neighboring countries," he said.
Last month, the Central Election Commission of Kyrgyzstan officially announced then Prime Minister Atambayev as the winner with over 62 percent of the vote in the Oct. 30 presidential election.
Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China's National People's Congress Ismail Tiliwaldi, Chief of Staff of Russia's Presidential Executive Office Sergei Naryshkin, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Robert Blake, and Kazakh Prime Minister Karim Masimov were among the guests attending the ceremony.