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Kazakh Report: February 16, 2000


16 February 2000

KAZAKH PRESIDENT WORKS IN THE FORMER CAPITAL.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev is in the former Kazakh capital - Almaty currently. On February 14, President Nazarbayev met Editor-in-Chief of Mysl Magazine - Abdesh Qalmurzayev and President of the Kazakh Science Academy - Naghima Aytqozhina in his Almaty residence. He also held conversation with Chairwoman of the Kazakh Central Election Commission - Zaghipa Baliyeva reportedly. According to Presidential schedule Kazakh leader is expected to visit Central State Museum of Almaty on February 15. On February 16, he will visit Almaty's Olympic Glory Museum and Kazkommertzbank. On Thursday, Kazakh President will take part in Almaty City administration's session.

RUSSIA'S KAZAKH CULTURAL AUTONOMIES HELD SESSION IN SAINT-PETERSBURG.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote Kazakh media as reporting that on February 14, leaders and activists of the Kazakh Cultural Autonomies of Russian Federation held a session in Russia's Saint-Petersburg. It was decided to organize a Union of the Russia's Kazakh Cultural Autonomies, at the session. The Union's center will be situated in Orenburg, Russia reportedly. Orenburg used to be the first capital of the Kazakh Soviet Socialist Autonomous republic of Russian Federation in 1920-Es.

KAZAKH SOLDIER DIED IN QARAGHANDY OBLAST.
Correspondents of RFE/RL quote Interfax-Kazakhstan News Agency as reporting that a 20-year-old Kazakh soldier - private Ghalymzhan Turghynbekov was found hung in one of the buildings of Qarazhal town of Qaraghandy Oblast this week. Private Turghynbekov served his 2-year mandatory term at Interior Ministry's military unit guarding a labour camp in Central Kazakhstan. He had been recriuted to the Kazakh Army 9 months ago. Investigations are underway.

TRAFFIC ACCIDENT ON ALMATY- MAQANSHI HIGHWAY KILLED 5 PASSENGERS.
On February 12, a bus fell into Sarqand Lake from a bridge on its way from Almaty to Maqanshi. 5 passengers died at the tragedy's spot. 14 passengers were injured, 1 of them is in a grave condition reportedly. Investigations are underway. On February 15, the bus's owner and the driver were interrogated by Almaty police.

ETHNIC KURDS HELD GATHERING MARKING A YEAR OF OCALAN'S ARREST.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from the former capital that ethnic Kurds of Kazakhstan held a session at the Kurdish Culture Center of Almaty on February 14. Leader of the Kazakh Ethnic Kurds - Academician Nadir Nadirov said at the gathering that the Turkish Court should not implement Abdullah Ocalan's death verdict. Leader of Kurdish separatists Abdullah Ocalan was arrested by the Turkish Secret Service agents a year ago, on February 15, 1999. Kazakhstan was the only country in the former Soviet Central Asia, where ethnic Kurds held mass actions of protest those days, demanding the immediate release of Mr. Ocalan.

OPPOSITION LEADER STILL CANNOT LEAVE KAZAKHSTAN.
Chairman of the Kazakh Republican People Party's Executive Committee Ghaziz Aldamzharov still is unable to leave Kazakhstan for Europe. Mr. Aldamzharov was refused exit visa by Visas and Passport Regime Control Department (OVIR) of Almaty earlier in January. He was going to visit some European countries then. According to the Kazakh laws, any citizen of Kazakhstan has to obtain, so-called exit visa, in order to travel abroad. Mr. Aldamzharov told correspondents of RFE/RL that OVIR had promised to give clarifications by February 29. In case, if by the end of this month, OVIR does not issue the exit visa for Mr. Aldamzharov, he will sue OVIR at Almaty City Court.

KAZAKH-RUSSIAN INTER-GOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE TO MEET IN MOSCOW THIS WEEK.
RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report that Kthe Kazakh-Russian inter-governmental committee to meet this week in Moscow. There are eight issues on agenda reportedly, including a review of 1998-2000 economic cooperation program between Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation; border issues; joint use of the Ertis river and ecological situation around it; cooperation in space programs.

CIS TO HOLD JOINT MILITARY EXERCICES "SOUTHREN SHIELD-2000" NEXT MONTH IN CENTARL ASIA.
RFE/RL correspondents in Almaty report that CIS countries will hold joint military exercices at the end of March on the territory of Central Asia. Russian, Tajik, Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek militaries to take part in the exercices, according to general Leonid Masin, chief of Stuff of CIS military copperation board in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

Improvement of military cooperation between Russian and Central Asian armies and working out a joint actions during possible terrorist attacks are the main goals of the exercices named "Southern Shield-2000", said general Leonid Masin.

FOREIGN MINISTER TO MEET GOVERNORS OF SOUTHEN OBLASTS.
RFE/RL correspondent in Almaty quoting Foreign Ministry press service, that FM Erlan Idirisov will meet governors of Zhambyl, Kyzyl-Orda and Southern Kazakhstan Oblasts. The main issue on agenda is the border issue between Kazakhstan and neighbouring Uzbekistan.

Last month Uzbekistan started setting up border signs between the two states on their own. Kazakhstan protested to Uzbekistan for moving the border signs into Kazakh territory in several district of Southern Kazakhstan Oblast.

GENERAL ERTAYEV WANTS TO HOLD PRESS-CONFERENCE.
Chief of the Kazakh Army's General Staff General Bakhytzhan Ertayev told correspondents of RFE/RL that he was going to hold press conference on February 14. General Ertayev is going to express his opinion about the trial he has been brought to together with businessman Alexander Petrenko. The both were accused of being involved in the illegal export of MiG-21 military planes export to Pyongyang. Almaty Military Garrison's Court found General Ertayev non-guilty and Mr. Petrenko guilty on February 4, but due to the Amnesty announced by the Kazakh president earlier last year. Mr. Petrenko was also released. According to the Kazakh laws, the verdict fully comes to power in ten days after its having been announced. That is the reason of General Ertayev's decision to hold his press conference on February 14. Member of the Kazakh parliament Serik Abdrakhmanov told correspondents of RFE/RL on February 11, that veterans of Afghan war and majority of the Kazakh Army's officers would have held mass actions of protest in case if General Ertayev had been found guilty. Kazakh President and the Kazakh government made several statement earlier last year, assuring US, Japan and South Korea, that they had known nothing about the MiG-21 deal, adding that the deal had been conducted by some unofficial groups illegally and that all the involved persons would be punished.

CIS SECRETARY YURIY YAROV VISITED ASTANA.
Correspondents of RFE/RL report from Astana that CIS Executive Secretary Yuriy Yarov visited the Kazakh capital on February 10. Mr. Yarov held talks with the Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev reportedly. Further integration between CIS countries and issue of possible amendments to the CIS Charter were reportedly discussed at the meeting. Yuriy Yarov held press conference after his meting with President Nazarbayev. He said that the recent mass gatherings held by Kazakhstan's Communists and Slav organizations in Astana and Almaty would never affect inter-ethnic cooperation within Kazakhstan. Kazakh Communists and Ethnic Russians demanded Kazakhstan to joint Russian-Belarus Union during the gatherings held last Sunday and Tuesday in Astana and Almaty. According to Yuriy Yarov only ordinary people should decide their future destiny. Mr. Yarov also stated that the time had come to create the joint center on anti-terrorists activities in Kazakhstan and Russia.

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