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23 March 2005

United States Expresses Concerned About Unrest in Kyrgyzstan

Urges government to practice restraint, opposition to join talks

The United States expressed concern March 22 about the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan in the wake of the country’s disputed parliamentary elections.

“We continue to urge the government to practice restraint,” said the State Department’s deputy spokesman Adam Ereli. “We condemn the use of force by any side and the seizure and destruction of government property.”

Ereli said Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns urged the Kyrgyz government to open a dialogue without preconditions when he met on March 22 with Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev's foreign policy advisor, Alikbek Djekshenkulov.  The United States also urges opposition leaders to join in this dialogue without preconditions, said Ereli.

Following is the text of Ereli’s statement:

(begin text)

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
March 22, 2005

Statement By Adam Ereli, Deputy Spokesman

UNREST IN KYRGYZSTAN

The United States is concerned about the unrest in southern Kyrgyzstan, including in the cities of Osh and Jalalabad.  We continue to urge the government to practice restraint. We condemn the use of force by any side and the seizure and destruction of government property.

Under Secretary for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns met on March 22 with Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev's foreign policy advisor, Alikbek Djekshenkulov.  Under Secretary Burns urged the Kyrgyz government to open a dialogue without preconditions with the opposition to chart a course toward long-term stability by addressing irregularities in the recent parliamentary elections and laying the groundwork for free and fair presidential elections this fall.  The United States urges opposition leaders to join in this dialogue without preconditions.

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Steve Young will continue efforts to bring about a peaceful resolution.  The United States is pleased that President Akayev has agreed to receive OSCE Representative for Central Asia Lojze Peterle in Bishkek.  We fully support Mr. Peterle's efforts to facilitate a dialogue and work toward a resolution.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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