Ousted Kyrgyz president in Belarus

Updated: 2010-04-21 02:51
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MOSCOW - Ousted Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was currently in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the international community continued to express hope that the impoverished Central Asian state could maintain stability.

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In his address to the nation and the parliament, Lukashenko said Bakiyev, who fled Kyrgyzstan following unrest that broke out on April 7, was under the protection of Belarus, Russian news agencies reported.

"Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev and his family are in Minsk under the protection of our state and under my personal (protection)," said Lukashenko, adding that Bakiyev arrived in Minsk on Monday night.

Lukashenko said Sunday that Belarus was ready to receive Bakiyev and denied at that time that Bakiyev had resigned.

Bakiyev fled to southern Kyrgyzstan on April 7 after thousands of protesters supportive of the opposition clashed with security forces throughout the country, driving out local governments and seizing government headquarters in Bishkek. He left the country on Thursday for Kazakhstan under the mediation of the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan.

The opposition has formed an interim government led by former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva.

Edil Baisalov, spokesman of the interim government, said authorities there expect Minsk to ensure the safety of Bakiyev until a trial.

The interim government said Bakiyev and some of his relatives were responsible for inducing the unrest, and has planned to launch an international investigation into the riots.

According to Kyrgyz state Khabar news agency, Otunbayeva on Tuesday met with Kazakh Secretary of State and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabayev to discuss the political and economic situation in Kyrgyzstan.

Saudabayev expressed readiness to provide all kinds of assistance to Kyrgyzstan, the Khabar agency said.

Leaders of Russia and Uzbekistan also voiced hope Tuesday that the impoverished Central Asian state could retain stability with the power of a strong government.

When holding talks in Moscow with his visiting Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov, President Dmitry Medvedev said "both Russia and Uzbekistan want Kyrgyzstan's government to be strong, its people to develop and prosper, and the state to be modern."

He also called on the interim government to maintain political stability in the country.

"Essentially, we need to revive the state...We are hoping that the interim administration of Kyrgyzstan will make all necessary efforts to achieve that," Medvedev said.