New Secretary of State John Kerry invented a new Central Asian nation last week, referring to diplomatic efforts to secure democratic institutions in “Kyrzakhstan,” which does not exist.
According to The Telegraph, Kerry seemed to confuse the country of Kyrgyzstan with its northern neighbor, Kazakhstan:
The State Department kindly omitted the error in the official transcript of Wednesday’s speech, which Kerry delivered on the eve of his first foreign trip as secretary of state.
Kerry’s flub was all the more awkward, because Kyrgyzstan is a key ally in the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan and a major recipient of US aid, which totalled $41 million (£27 million) in 2011.
Washington has actively promoted democratic development in the country since pro-democracy revolutions topped strongmen in 2005 and 2010, leading to free elections in 2011.
A secretary at the Kyrgyz Embassy in London said nobody was available to comment.