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Central Asia: Three Presidents Sign Friendship Treaty

  • Narynbek Idinov



Prague, 10 January 1997 (RFE/RL) -- The summit of the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan ended in Bishkek today with the signing of five accords, including a treaty on eternal friendship.

The eternal friendship treaty says the three central Asian states are fraternal and friendly countries and includes a pledge to hold regular high level consultations.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said at the end of the summit, "our becoming closer is objective -- some 400 years ago there were no Kazakhs, Uzbeks or Kyrgyz" -- a reference to their common Turkic heritage.

The presidents signed an agreement on the leadership of their countries' loose economic union founded in 1994 as well as a document enabling Russia and Tajikistan to gain observer status in the union.

They also agreed on forming a central Asian peacekeeping batallion, to be based at Jibek-Jolu on the border between Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. The three presidents agreed on holding joint military excercises later this year in Uzbekistan.

But the signing of a draft agreement on extenting the terms of peacekeeping batallions deployed in Tajikistan was postponed until a CIS-meeting due to be held in Moscow next Friday.
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