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U.S. Denies Authenticity Of Controversial Document

Prague, 20 April 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The United States is denying the authenticity of a document being circulated in Tajik media that purports to be proof of a U.S. plot to overthrow former Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev.

The U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan released a statement saying it is "surprised and dismayed" that independent and state-run Tajik newspapers have published the document.

The document, which first appeared on a Russian internet website, claims to reveal that U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Stephen Young plotted to overthrow Akaev's government with the help of U.S. non-governmental organizations.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan, Jennifer Washeleski, told RFE/RL by phone from Dushanbe today that the document is a forgery.

"Both the U.S. government and the [U.S.] embassies in Bishkek and Dushanbe have made it clear that this document is a forgery and it is a crude fabrication by individuals who have no association with the U.S. government. It in no way represents the views or actions of the U.S. government," Washeleski said.

During last month's political unrest in Kyrgyzstan, Akaev accused Young of signing such a document.

The U.S. Embassy says that Washington hopes Tajikistan takes appropriate steps to disassociate itself with the document, saying it threatens to damage good U.S.-Tajik relations.