US/EU coup in Kyrgyzstan
Continuing the process of "regime change" against countries with governments not fully subservient to the US/EU, a coup was launched yesterday in the former Soviet Central Asian country of Kyrgyzstan. It is believed that the president was about to evict the US "anti-terror" military base there.
[Newswire from ITAR-TASS, followed by Interfax.]
Police, military quit Kyrgyz govt compound
BISHKEK, March 24 (Itar-Tass) - The situation in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek has gone out of the authorities' control. Participants in a major protest action in the city center have stormed the government building, which also houses the presidential office and the Central Electoral Commission.
The military had left the building shortly before that, saying they would not offer resistance.
President Askar Akayev was absent from the building, too. The attackers burst into his office and displayed the presidential flag in the window. Pieces of furniture were thrown out of some other windows.
Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev is currently at his country residence, guarded by a commando unit, reliable sources in the Interior Ministry have said.
According to the same sources, representatives from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have arrived there for talks. They had flown in to Bishkek earlier in the capacity of mediators.
Lavrov says RF Embassy in Bishkek works normally
MOSCOW, March 24 (Itar-Tass) - Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the Russian Embassy in Bishkek works normally.
At the same time, the Russian minister said he is concerned about the situation in Kyrgyzstan.
Lavrov said on Thursday, "Today we've voiced our concern about the situation in Kyrgyzstan. We've warned about the threats, which have forced to solve political problems by illegal methods." He regretted that in different cities of Kyrgyzstan, including in Bishkek, civilians suffered losses as a result of "the use of force and the seizure of government buildings."
Russia "calls on all sides to settle the conflict by peaceful means in compliance with the Constitution and Kyrgyzstan's laws," the minister said.
Lavrov said Russia calls on all participants in confrontation in Kyrgyzstan to settle the conflict by peaceful means. There are victims in several cities of Kyrgyzstan. The house of government was seized. "We called for settling the conflict and refraining from attempts to solve the problem by the use of force," the minister said.
"We confirm our serious concern about the situation in Kyrgyzstan," Lavrov stressed.
In his words, Moscow hopes that the OSCE and other structures "will take a more responsible position on the resolution of the conflict in Kyrgyzstan."
"We reiterated that their statements should be more careful. Much depends on observers' statements," the Russian minister said. He stressed, "The criteria and the assessment of elections should be clear and understandable."
"It is unclear who gives powers to observers of international organisations and the OSCE. Now after our consultations it has become clear for the OSCE that it is necessary to ensure law and order in Kyrgyzstan," Lavrov said.
Kyrgyz parliament appoints acting head of state
BISHKEK, March 24 (Itar-Tass) - Parliament of Kyrgyazstan has appointed Ishenbai Kadyrbekov acting head of state instead of President Askar Akayev who made a resignation statement earlier in the day after heavy pressure from oppositionist forces.
Kyrgyz MPs also decided that the Coordination Council for People's Unity will perform the functions of the cabinet of ministers. It is chaired by Kurmanbek Bakiyev.
Another parliamentary decision says the parliament will be deemed the only legitimate agency of power in Kyrgyzstan in the absence of a president and prime minister.
Kyrgyz diplomat says Pres Akayev did not resign
WASHINGTON, March 24 (Itar-Tass) - President Askar Akayev of Kyrgyzstan did not sign any resignation documents and did not resign from the post, Kyrgyz Ambassador to the U.S., Baktybek Abdirsayev said in a special statement.
The President is in a safe place now, he said.
One of the leaders of Kyrgyz opposition, Felix Kulov, released the information earlier in the day in Bishkek that Akayev had turned in a resignation statement. It was then confirmed by other oppositionists.
A session of Kyrgyz parliament appointed Ishenbai Kadyrbekov, one of the country's former prime ministers, acting head of state.
The parliament also declared itself the only legitimate agency that could take decisions in the absence of a president and prime minister and delegated the functions of the cabinet of ministers to a coordination committee with Kurmanbek Bekiyev at the head.
Annan calls for public order in Kirgizia
UNITED NATIONS, March 25 (Itar-Tass) -- UN Secretary General Kofi Annan called on Kirgizia to maintain public order and fully observe human rights, his spokesman said on Thursday.
Asked about the reported resignation of Kirgiz President Askar Akayev, the spokesman said the secretary general was following closely developments in Kyrgyzstan, which had taken a dramatic turn in the past twenty-four hours.
Annan also urged "all concerned to resolve the current crisis through peaceful means".
Five people killed, 12 injured in Bishkek overnight
BISHKEK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) -- At least four people were killed in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek overnight, a source of the local first aid station told Itar-Tass.
At least four people were killed overnight, the source said by telephone, noting that it was prohibited to give any information to reporters.
Twelve people were taken overnight to Bishkek's Hospital Two specialized in treating injuries. One of the people, a policeman, died of his head injury early in the morning.
More than 1,000 people are trying to get into the parliament building, an Itar-Tass correspondent reports from the site.
The people are supporters of deputies who won in the latest parliament elections.
The Kyrgyz Supreme Court has annulled registration of parliament deputies of the new convocation, and the previous convocation parliament is legitimate in fact.
Kazakhstan tightens control on Kazakh-Kyrgyz border
ASTANA, March 25 (Itar-Tass) -- Kazakhstan has tightened control on the border with Kyrgyzstan, a representative of the National Security Committee of Kazakhstan has told Itar-Tass. It is in charge of the frontier guard troops of the country. He did not confirm a report on the total closure of the border.
The regime on the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border "has been effectively tightened", said the staff member of the press service of the National Security Committee. Nevertheless, it is impossible to close the border altogether, because "people from both countries go on diplomatic and business trips."
Tajikistan tightens control on Tajik-Kyrgyz border
DUSHANBE, March 25 (Itar-Tass) - Tajikistan does not believe at the moment that there are reasons for closing the border with Kyrgyzstan, which is some 900 kilometres long. All the chick points on the eastern Dzhirgatal section and the northern Sogdi section are working in a normal regime, Colonel General Saidamir Zukhurov, commander of the Tajik frontier guard troops, told Itar-Tass on Friday.
"There are no obstacles for people from both countries for crossing the border in both directions," he added. At the same time, considering the situation taking shape in the area, the guarding of the border was tightened, and additional frontier guard posts were created. "We gave instructions to the personnel of the frontier posts to take a closer look at the people crossing the border, for the purpose of preventing arms smuggling and the penetration of criminals," said General Zukhurov. According to his information, they are keeping the situation on the Tajik-Kyrgyz border under strict control.
Kurmanbek Bakiyev appointed Kyrgyz acting president
BISHKEK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) - One of the leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition, Kurmanbek Bakiyev, has been appointed Acting President of Kyrgyzstan. The decision on the appointment was made by the Council of People's Representatives, the upper house of parliament of the previous convocation.
This decision cancels the former decision on the appointment of Ishenbai Kadyrbekov as acting head of the republic.
Now Bakiyev is simultaneously occupying two top posts of the country. Earlier he was appointed acting prime minister.
Kyrgyz acting president asks Russia for help
BISHKEK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) - Kyrgyzstan "expects Russia to help it in the current difficult situation. We would like Russia to help us settle the situation and resolve a number of acute economic problems," acting President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said in an exclusive interview with Itar-Tass.
"Our relations with Russia have traditionally been friendly. Nobody is going to change the character of those relations, we intend only to develop them. Everybody knows that a difficult situation took shape in Kyrgyzstan these days. Russia may help with its settlement. We need Russian investments. We must develop our economy. We are willing to closely cooperate with Russia in this sphere and hope it will soon take steps in this direction," Bakiyev said.
Ishembay Kadyrbekov, new speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament, also told Itar-Tass that he favoured good relations with Russia.
"There are no problems between our countries, which remain unresolved and which could worsen our relations. We would like Russia to regard the developments in Kyrgyzstan in a realistic way and not to describe as extremists the people, who wish to defend their rights. We would like to preserve the developing Russian-Kyrgyz relations in the economic sphere and to attract additional Russian investments," he said.
"Historically, the Kyrgyz and Russian nations are very close to each other. I have no other feelings for Russia but respect and love, especially considering the fact that I studied in Moscow for five years. About all the Kyrgyz people have the same feelings for Russia," Kadyrbekov stressed.
Kyrgyz acting president appoints new ministers
BISHKEK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) - Kurmanbek Bakiyev, acting president of Kyrgyzstan, has appointed several new ministers.
On his order, Myktybek Abdyldayev, former prosecutor-general, was appointed acting interior minister. General Ismail Isakov, a member of parliament, will discharge the duties of defence minister. Erkin Mamyrov was appointed acting minister of justice.
Akylbek Dyuishenbiyev was appointed acting chief of the presidential office. Ishenbay Kadyrbekov was appointed acting minister of transport and communication.
At the same time, Bakiyev appointed Usen Sadykov to the post of head of his administration. Three acting governors were appointed by Bakiyev: Artykov - in the Osh Region, Zheenbekov - in the Jalal-Abad Region and Kulmurzayev - in the Chuisk Region.
First vice-premier Kubanychbek Zhumaliyev, acting vice-premier and interior minister Keneshbek Dyushebayev, Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov, Finance Minister Bolot Abildayev and Minister of Ecology and Emergency Situations Temirbek Akmataliyev were dismissed.
Akayev says coup d'etat staged in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK, March 25 (Itar-Tass) - "The unconstitutional coup d'etat has been staged in Kyrgyzstan," Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev has said in a statement he sent to the national news agency KABAR.
"The rumours about my resignation from the presidential post are deceitful and malevolent," Akayev stressed. "My present stay out of the country is a temporary occurrence," he added.
Mar 24 2005 11:04AM
Police block approaches to Kyrgyz govt headquarters
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Police blocked approaches to the Kyrgyz government headquarters in downtown Bishkek on Thursday.
Traffic in the city is being complicated by numerous jams, which is not characteristic of Bishkek, an Interfax correspondent reported from the scene.
The city administration is concerned about the possibility that the opposition supporters rallying near one of the city's major markets might try to head for the city center.
Helicopters have been flying over the rally from time to time.
Mar 24 2005 11:09AM
Opposition marching towards downtown Bishkek
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Large groups of opposition members are marching towards the center of Bishkek from various parts of the city.
Observers estimate their total number at 15,000. The protesters are shouting anti-governmental slogans.
"Our goal is to seize the square in front of the government building and force the government to resign," a protester told Interfax.
Mar 24 2005 11:13AM
Opposition seizes square in front of Kyrgyz govt building
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - About 5,000 opposition members took control of the square in front of the Kyrgyz government building in downtown Bishkek on Thursday, an Interfax correspondent reported.
More opposition members are currently headed towards the square. They are carrying anti-government placards, most of which say "Down with Akayev!"
Meanwhile, special task units are blocking the approaches to the Kyrgyz government building.
Mar 24 2005 11:24AM
Kyrgyz state secretary resigns
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Kyrgyz presidential press secretary Abdil Segizbayev confirmed that State Secretary Osmonakun Ibraimov's has submitted his resignation.
Ibraimov resigned voluntarily, and the president has already accepted his resignation, Segizbayev said.
Mar 24 2005 3:50PM
Akayev rejects CIS security organization's assistance
MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) - The Collective Security Treaty Organization offered Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev its assistance in resolving the ongoing crisis in his country on March 21, but Akayev rejected the initiative.
"President Askar Akayev disagreed with the Collective Security Treaty Organization's initiative proposing assistance in settling the crisis in Kyrgyzstan. The suggestions were sent to him last Monday," a Moscow diplomatic source told Interfax on Thursday.
Mar 24 2005 5:51PM
Kyrgyzstan president leaves for Russia - sources
MOSCOW/BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Kyrgyzstan President Askar Akayev left Bishkek on Thursday on an airplane bound for Russia, Bishkek sources told Interfax.
The sources said members of Akayev's family had left Kyrgyzstan for Kazakhstan on board a presidential helicopter. Sources in Almaty said they had arrived in a Kazakh city and were staying there as private individuals.
Earlier on Thursday, the opposition seized the main government office in Bishkek. Shortly before, Akayev left the building, allegedly for talks with the head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe mission to Kyrgyzstan.
Mar 24 2005 6:11PM
Russia acting to ensure safety of servicemen in Kyrgyzstan
MOSCOW. March 24 (Interfax) - The Russian military leadership is taking steps to ensure the safety of Russian servicemen at the Kant airbase in Kyrgyzstan.
"The situation that we are witnessing in Kyrgyzstan requires special security measures with respect to the servicemen based at Kant," General Yury Baluyevsky, head of the Russian General Staff, told reporters in Moscow.
Mar 24 2005 7:01PM
OSCE calls for coalition govt in Kyrgyzstan
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Alois Peterle, an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe envoy who arrived in Bishkek on Thursday, called for setting up a coalition government in Kyrgyzstan.
Mar 24 2005 8:27PM
Govt. steps down, law enforcement ministers stay - opposition leader
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Chairman of Kyrgyzstan's opposition Coordinating Council Kurmanbek Bakiyev said the Kyrgyz government is stepping down following Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev's resignation.
However, the law-enforcement leaders will continue performing their duties, Bakiyev said on national television on Thursday.
"The Kyrgyz national security service chief Kalyk Imankulov is working as usual and so is the national security service," said Bakiyev.
He said Defense Minister Essen Topoyev is also still performing his duties.
"Gen. Ismail Isakov will act as our aide in the Defense Ministry.[ Before 1999 Isakov was first deputy defense minister and in 2000-05 a parliamentary deputy.] He will be in charge of security, the protection of the border and the National Guard," Bakiyev said.
Mar 24 2005 9:54PM
Opposition leader elected Kyrgyz parliamentary speaker
BISHKEK. March 24 (Interfax) - Opposition figure Ishenbai Kadyrbekov has been elected speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament's legislative assembly, parliamentary sources told Interfax.
In accordance with the constitution, Kadyrbekov will perform the duties of president and prime minister in their absence.
Kadyrbekov was an opposition leader in the previous parliament.
Mar 25 2005 10:40AM
Previous Kyrgyz parliament to work until new president elected
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - The Kyrgyz parliamentarians from the previous parliament composition are considering a so-called bill on emergency, under which they will continue to perform their duties until a new president is elected.
"There can't be vacuum of power," speaker Ishinbai Kadyrbekov said opening a parliamentary session on Friday morning.
"The rampage that happened last night should be stopped. If we can't stop it, then we aren't worth a red cent," he said.
Mar 25 2005 10:41AM
Akayev in resort area in northern Kazakhstan - source
MOSCOW/BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev and his family are in the resort area of Borovoye in the Akmola region in northern Kazakhstan, a credible source told Interfax on condition of anonymity on Friday.
Interfax has so far been unable to obtain confirmation of this information from Kazakh authorities.
Speaker of the Kyrgyz parliament Ishinbai Kadyrbekov told Interfax on Friday morning that Akayev's whereabouts was unknown.
Mar 25 2005 10:42AM
Kyrgyz revolt caused by social problems, govt's weakness - Nazarbayev
ASTANA. March 25 (Interfax-Kazakhstan) - The collapse of the Kyrgyz government was possible due to social problems that had long been piling up and also due to the authorities' weakness, said Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
"We should draw conclusions from the situation in Kyrgyzstan and come to understand the reasons behind the events that happened there. It is absolutely obvious that the socioeconomic problems that had been piling up in that country for years have led to mass poverty and unemployment. This triggered spontaneous protests in many regions of the country," Nazarbayev said at a business forum in Astana on Friday.
"The weakness of the authorities has also played its role in that it did not prevent the rioters and vandals from doing what they want," he said.
Mar 25 2005 10:46AM
Candidates for Kyrgyz Cabinet ministers nominated
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - Acting Kyrgyz Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev has proposed that parliament appoint opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva as the country's foreign minister.
Bakiyev also offered other candidates for Cabinet vacancies.
In particular, Bakiyev nominated former prosecutor general Maktebek Abduldayev for interior minister, parliamentarian Ismail Isakov for defense minister, and Mulatbek Mukashev for chairman of the national bank.
Mar 25 2005 11:02AM
Kyrgyzstan will observe all intl commitments - acting PM
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - Kyrgyzstan will observe all the international commitments that it assumed earlier, head of the Coordinating Council and acting Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev told journalists on Friday.
"Kyrgyzstan is not going to revise the international commitments that it assumed earlier," he said.
Mar 25 2005 12:07PM
New govt to rule Kyrgyzstan for three months - Bakiyev
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - Acting Kyrgyz Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiyev has said that the country's government, which will be formed by parliament soon, will remain in power for the next three months.
"Let me create an executive body of power that will not exist forever, but for about three months," Bakiyev told a parliamentary session on Friday.
The acting prime minister, however, declined to disclose any possible date for the country's new presidential and parliamentary elections.
Mar 25 2005 12:08PM
Kyrgyz Constitutional Court unaware of Akayev resignation
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - The Kyrgyz Constitutional Court has not received President Askar Akayev's resignation, Constitutional Court Chairman Cholpon Bayekova said on national television on Friday.
The Constitutional Court has only received Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev's resignation, Bayekova said. "It has been drawn up properly and has been redirected to the parliament," she said.
Bayekova also said that, according to her information, Akayev is "at a resort center in Kazakhstan."
Mar 25 2005 12:25PM
Bakiyev's appointment as acting PM legitimate - Kyrgyz Constitutional Court
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - The appointment of Kurmanbek Bakiyev as acting Kyrgyz prime minister by the parliament is legitimate, Chairman of the Kyrgyz Constitutional Court Cholpon Bayekova said on national television on Friday.
The upper chamber of the Kyrgyz parliament appointed Bakiyev acting prime minister earlier on Friday.
Bakiyev now plans to form a Cabinet and submit the candidacies to both parliamentary chambers for confirmation.
It is expected that Bakiyev will be confirmed prime minister on Friday afternoon, after he submits a program of the government's work and its key members to the deputies.
Mar 25 2005 1:03PM
Russia won't object to receiving Akayev - Putin
YEREVAN. March 25 (Interfax) - The Russian leadership will not object to Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev's arrival in Russia if he wishes to do so, Russian President Vladimir Putin told journalists in Yerevan on Friday.
"If Askar Akayev wants to come to Russia, we will not object," he said.
Mar 25 2005 1:18PM
Putin regrets handling of Kyrgyz crisis
YEREVAN. March 25 (Interfax) - Russian President Vladimir Putin said he regrets that the way the situation is evolving in Kyrgyzstan today is not based on the law.
"The events in Kyrgyzstan have taken an unexpected turn, which is the result of the weakness of the authorities and all the accumulated socioeconomic problems," Putin said in Yerevan on Friday.
"This situation where one of the ex-Soviet countries has resorted to unlawful means to settle its political problems causes our regret. This situation is not new. It is being accompanied by destruction and human casualties," the president said.
Mar 25 2005 1:29PM
CIS, unlike EU, was set up as "civilized divorce" - Putin
YEREVAN. March 25 (Interfax) - The main purpose for setting up the Commonwealth of Independent States in 1991 was to symbolically have a civilized divorce after the Soviet Union's breakup, said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"If someone expected particular achievements in all areas of the CIS, they have never happened and could not have happened. The processes following the USSR breakup were different from the goals that were initially declared. The main purpose for setting up the CIS was to part in the mildest possible way after the USSR breakup. The CIS did this job," Putin told journalists in Yerevan.
Mar 25 2005 2:19PM
Kyrgyz Defense Ministry units put on high alert - source
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - The Kyrgyz Defense Ministry has put its units on high alert, a source in the country's security agencies told Interfax on Friday.
All the ministry's units are at their bases, the source said. Tasks are being set for the period of the high alert regime, he said.
Official sources could not be reached for comment.
Mar 25 2005 3:33PM
Bakiyev dismisses, appoints govt officials
BISHKEK. March 25 (Interfax) - Acting Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has signed a number of resolutions dismissing and appointing some of the country's senior officials.
The latest dismissals include State Secretary Osmonakun Ibraimov, First Deputy Prime Minister and Transportation and Communications Minister Kubanychbek Zhumaliyev, Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov, Finance Minister Bolot Abildayev, acting Interior Minister Keneshbek Dyubayev, and acting Prosecutor General Murat Sutalinov.
Dastan Sarygulov has been appointed to the post of state secretary and Usen Sydykov will take the helm of the presidential administration, Kyrgyzstan's national television reported.
Bakiyev also appointed the country's acting interior minister, acting defense minister, and acting transport minister. Acting governors for the Osh, Dzhalal-Abad and Chuya regions were appointed as well.
Mar 25 2005 3:55PM
Kyrgyzstan to hold presidential elections in June - Otunbayeva
MOSCOW. March 25 (Interfax) - Presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan will take place in June 2005, said Roza Otunbayeva, one of the leaders of the Kyrgyz opposition that has taken power in the country.
"After that, we will think about parliamentary elections," Otunbayeva said in an interview with CNN on Friday.
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