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Kyrgyz Report: April 23, 1999


23 April 1999

KYRGYZ DELEGATION TO NATO SUMMIT.
According to the press service of the Foreign Ministry, a Kyrgyz delegation led by Foreign Minister Muratbek ImanAliyev departed for the US on 22 April. They will attend the 50th anniversary NATO summit in Washington. The delegation includes Deputy Defense Minister Tabyldy Moldobaev, department head in the government Jumakadyr Atabekov and Kyrgyz Ambassador to the US and Canada Bakyt Abdrisaev.

They will also take part in the two conferences in the US - a conference on the Great Silk Road and a conference on Central Asian regional security.

CZECH DELEGATION IN KYRGYZSTAN.
A Czech government delegation led by Prime Minister Milos Zeman met in Bishkek today with Usup Mukambaev, Speaker of the parliamentary Legislative Assembly. Bilateral relations between the two states were discussed. Then the delegation visited several industrial enterprises, including the moto-car assembling plant in Bishkek. Negotiations on cooperation in the auto and processing industries have been held.

BUDGET-1999 IS NOT CONSIDERED YET.
The parliamentary People�s Assembly had planned to consider amendments to the law on state budget for 1999,prepared by the government. But Finance Minister Marat Sultanov did not come to the parliamentary session on 23 April to present the amendments. The law was passed in both two parliamentary chambers in January.

EMBEZZLEMENT IN GOVERNMENT BODIES.
The chairman of the Accounting Chamber of Kyrgyzstan, Damir Oskonbaev, reported to the session of the People�s Assembly on 23 April on the recent activity of the Chamber. According to him, the Chamber has found that different governmental bodies had embezzled 441 million soms (about $13 million) recently. 67 million soms have been embezzled by the Foreign Ministry. 12 million soms were embezzled by the Ministry of Education, Science and Culture in 1997.

The Assembly formed a special parliamentary commission on the Kyrgyz branch of the CIS Mir TV corporation on 23 April. According to Oskonbayev, the corporation has brought to Kyrgyzstan 250-million-som commodities since 1997 and has not paid any taxes.

WORLD ISLAM LEAGUE LEADER TO KYRGYZSTAN.
The deputy Mufti of Kyrgyzstan, Abdylda Asrankulov, told our correspondent in Bishkek on 23 April that Abdullah Ibn As-Salih Al Abid, Secretary General of the World Islam League, will arrive in Kyrgyzstan on 23 May on invitation of the Muftiyat (Muslim Board) of Kyrgyzstan.

WORLD MIGRATION ORGANIZATION REPRESENTATIVE IN BISHKEK.
According to the parliamentary press service, the speaker of the parliamentary Legislative Assembly received Paul Norton, representative of the world migration organization in Bishkek on 23 April. The Kyrgyz law draft on refugees was discussed.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV�S TRIP TO A REGION CANCELED.
According to the presidential spokeswoman Gulnara Myrzakhmetova, President Askar Akayev has canceled his trip to the Jalal-Abad region, set for 23 April, due to bad weather. There was snowfall in Bishkek and Chu vally yesterday. According to the meteorological center in Bishkek, the cold weather with minus temperature during the night will last two more days.

CZECH PRIME MINISTER IN KYRGYZSTAN.
A Czech government delegation, led by Prime Minister Milos Zeman, was received in Bishkek on 22 April by President Askar Akayev. According to the presidential press service, bilateral relations between the Czech and Kyrgyz Republics were discussed. President Akayev mentioned that the Intergelpo project, set up and ran by Czechs in Kyrgyzstan in the 1920s, helped Kyrgyzstan very much. The delegation arrived in Bishkek from Tashkent for 3-day visit the previous night.

Milos Zeman and Kyrgyz Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev signed in Bishkek on 22 April a declaration on further develeopments of the inter-state relations and a protocol on cooperation between the two governments. At a news conference after the meeting, Zeman said that Kyrgyzstan should adopt legislature on giving governmental guaranties for foreign investments to attract investments from the Czech Republic. According to Muraliev, an agreement between the two states on avoiding double taxation will be worked out soon.

Zeman and MurAliyev met with Czech and Kyrgyz businessmen at the Ak-Keme hotel in Bishkek on 22 April. Several agreements on cooperation between some Kyrgyz and Czech enterprises were signed. A separate meeting between the Bishkek city administration and the leadership of the Czech Skoda enterprise was also held in Bishkek the same day. An agreement on cooperation between Bishkek and the Skoda was signed.

Diplomatic relations between the Czech Republic and Kyrgyzstan were established in 1993. Jozef Zieleniec, then Czech Foreign Minister, visited Kyrgyzstan in March 1995. President Askar Akayev visited the Czech Republic last November. Trade turnover between the two countries was $9.5 million in 1998.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV RECEIVES CHRISTIAN LEADER.
According to the presidential press service, on 22 April President Askar Akayev received in Bishkek Father Vladimir, Archbishop of Kyrgyzstan and Central Asia. Situation in Christian community of Kyrgyzstan was discussed.

Father Vladimir held a reception, devoted to the Orthodox Easter, in Bishkek on 22 April. State Secretary Ishenbay Abdurazakov, Parliamentary Speaker Usup Mukambayev, several foreign ambassadors, officials from the Muftiyat (the Muslim Board) of Kyrgyzstan attended. At present there are 38 Orthodox churches in Kyrgyzstan.

SESSION OF THE PEOPLE�S ASSEMBLY.
The sixteenth session of the parliamentary People�s Assembly, begun on 21 April, continued in Bishkek on 22 April Speaker Abdygany Erkebaev reported to the session on its activity in the last period. MPs Jamalbek Tuleberdiev and Abdykaim Masaitov were elected chairmen of the parliamentary commitees. The Assembly will discuss tomorrow the amendments to the law on state budget for 1999, proposed by the government.

HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE RETURNS FROM GENEVA.
Ramazan Dyryldaev, Chairman of the Kyrgyz Commitee for Human Rights, told our correspondent in Bishkek on 22 April he had taken part in a meeting of the UN institutions on human rights, held in Geneva recently. He delivered a speech on the human rights situation in Kyrgyzstan at the meeting. The Ministry of Justice deprived the Commitee of its registration with the Ministry and still rejecting to re-register the Committee.

RATE OF THE SOM.
Exchange offices in Bishkek sold one US dollar for 38.5 soms on 22 April. According to the press service for the National Bank, rate of the som was 37.55 at the inter-bank market in Bishkek today. In total, $180,000 were sold, $150,000 out of it - by the National Bank.

COLD WEATHER IN BISHKEK.
There was snowfall in Bishkek and Chu vally during the night of 21 - 22 April. The temperature was minus 3 degrees on Celsius. Japarbek Smailov, department head in the Ministry of Agriculture, told our correspondent in Bishkek on 22 April the cold weather has thrown back spring field works in the valley by 10-15 days. According to the meteorological center in Bishkek, the cold weather will last 3 more days.

LEADERSHIP OF THE 'UTRO BISHKEKA' PAPER CHANGED.
According to information from the editorial board of the pro-governmental Russian language "Utro Bishkeka" paper, a meeting of its board of directors was held recently. Olga Bezborodova, parliamentary correspondent of the paper, has been appointed its chief editor, replacing Ella Taranova, who is accused of embezzlement. Prominent Kyrgyz poet Anes Zarifyan has been appointed financial manager of the paper. The "Utro Bishkeka" will be issued once a week now, on Saturdays, and will have 32 pages in an edition. It has had three issues a week before.

BISHKEK RESIDENTS RECEIVE GAS.
Deputy Director of the Kyrgyzgas state gas company Toktosun AbduvAliyev announced in Bishkek on 21 April that residents of Bishkek began to receive natural gas that day at about 1 p.m. local time. However, according to him, it will take about 5 days to reach normal pressure in the gas piplienes. Kyrgyzstan receives now from Uzbekistan 45,000 cubic meters of gas per hour. The country has been without natural gas for about 20 days.

Natural gas delivery for ordinary consumers of Kyrgyzstan has not been resumed yet. According to Abduvaliev, representatives of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed a special agreement in Tashkent on 15 April on the joint use of hydro-electric power stations in Central Asia and according to it, power and heating stations in Bishkek and Osh receive now natural gas from Uzbekistan in return for water from the Toktogul reservoir on Kyrgyz territory. According to Abduvaliev, this gas, aimed to the heating station in Bishkek, is being given to consumers.

Kyrgyzstan owes Uzbekistan $4.5 million for natural gas and, according to Abduvaliev, until the debt would be paid, there will be problems.

NEW PRIME MINISTER APPROVED.
Amangeldi MurAliyev was approved on 21 April by the parliamentary People�s Assembly as the new prime minister of Kyrgyzstan. After lengthy and heated discussion, members of the Assembly voted by showing of hands. 61 deputies out of total 70 members of the Assembly attended the session and only 39 of them took part in voting. 37 of them voted for MurAliyev and 2 deputies were against. After it, the Assembly voted for approval of the decision and 43 out of 45 deputies, taking part in the voting, approved it.

All 19 members of the Government (with exeption of Director of the State Agency for Foreign Investments Urkalyi Isaev, who is in London now) were sworn in on 21 April

32 deputies took part in discussion on 21 April. They raised problems of hard economical situation in the country, relations with neigboring countries and state border issues, incompetence in the cadre policy and others. President Askar Akayev delivered a speech at the end of discussion and said a strategic program of Kyrgyzstan�s development in 2000-2010 would be worked out soon with the help from international finance organisations.

CZECH PRIME MINISTER TO KYRGYZSTAN.
A Czech delegation led by Prime Minister Milos Zeman will arrive in Bishkek from Tashkent late on 21 April According to the presidential press service, he will meet with President Askar Akayev, Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev, speakers of the two parliamentary houses Usup Mukambaev and Abdygany Erkebaev.

It is expected that a declaration on further develeopments of inter-state relations and protocol on cooperation between the two governments will be signed.

HUNGARIAN PARLIAMENTARY DELEGATION IN BISHKEK.
A Hungarian parliamentary delegation, led by Mihai Varna, arrived in Bishkek during the morning of 21 April. According to the parliamentary press service, they met in Bishkek the same day with Usup Mukambaev, Speaker of the parliamentary Legislative Assembly. Cooperation between the Kyrgyz and Hungarian parliaments was discussed.

TRADE REPRESENTATIVE TO BULGARIA APPOINTED.
The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 21 April that Kyrgyzstan had opened a trade repreaentation in Sofia. Azat Sheikhunbaev has been appointed Kyrgyz trade representative to Bulgaria.

RATE OF THE SOM.
Exchange offices in Bishkek sold one US dollar for 38.1 som on 21 April. During the last week, its rate was 37.5 to 37.7 soms to $1. According to the press service for the National Bank, there were no inter-bank trades on 21 April.

NEW CUSTOMS DUTIES ON USED CARS.
Deputy Director of the Customs Inspection Erkin Suerkulov announced in Bishkek on 21 April that value of all used cars, brought to Kyrgyzstan from abroad, would be stated according to international prices, and the corresponding customs duties should be paid for them. The rule is effective immediately. According to Abdylda Maldybaev, spokesman for the Customs Inspection, special tariffs for foreign used cars have already been worked out.

PRESIDENT ASKAR AKAYEV'S ANNUAL ADDRESS TO NATION.
President Askar Akayev delivered his annual address to nation at the joint session of the both parliamentary houses, which began in Bishkek on the afternoon of 20 April.

Akayev pointed out the perspectives of developments in the agricultural sector in the address and said that very this agricultural sector has rescued Kyrgyzstan from the world financial crisis. According to the president, the plots of land should be rent for a long periods of time through auctions. Also, pastures should be given to private hands.

According to Akayev, main points of the reforms in agriculture are: - to work out legal basis for corporative management in agriculture and to introduce the corporative management at the agricultural enterprises, - to form enlarged specialized co-operative agricultural societies.

PRIME MINISTER CANDIDATURE IS DISCUSSED IN PARLIAMENT.
President Askar Akayev invited the session of the parliamentary People's Assembly to approve appointment of Amangeldi MurAliyev as new Kyrgyz Prime Minister on the evening of 20 April. Discussion in the Assembly lasted for about 2 hours and only 7 deputies of 24, who wanted to take part in the debate, could delivered their speeches. It was decided to continue discussion on 21 April, when it will be decided how to vote - either by secret ballots or by showing of hands.

MPs Madumarov and Tekebaev criticized newly appointed prime minister today. MPs Usubaliev, Shevelev, Masaitov, Raimbekov and Jeksheev praised.

Muraliev, 52, was appointed acting prime minister by President Akayev on 12 April. He had been a Governor of the Osh region for last 3 years. He graduated from the Polytechnic Institute in Bishkek in 1969 and had become director of several industrial plants in Bishkek in the 1980s. Since 1990, he had served as mayor of Bishkek, state secretary of economics, minister of finance, chairman of the state property fund, vice prime minister of industry. Before being appointed a regional governor, he had been the chairman of the industrialists' union of the country.

Jumabek Ibraimov, appointed prime minister on 25 December 1998, died from stomach cancer on 4 April.

NO NATURAL GAS DELIVERIES FROM UZBEKISTAN YET.
Toktosun Abduvaliev, Deputy Director General of the Kyrgyzgas state gas company, told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 20 April that an agreement between Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on joint use of water generated electricity in the region was signed in Tashkent on 15 April. According to it, the power and heating plants in the cities of Bishkek and Osh should receive natural gas fron Uzbekistan. But, according to Uzbek authorities, an accident happened with the gas pipeline in the Jizak district of Uzbekistan that morning and Kyrgyzstan has not received any gas yet.

Nothing on gas deliveries to other enterprises and private users in Kyrgyzstan has been decided yet. Acting Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev blamed the previous government for it at the parliamentary session on 20 April.

According to the agreement, signed in Tashkent on 15 April, Kyrgyzstan will give Uzbekistan water from the Toktogul reservoir in 1999 according to a special schedule. Also, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan will receive from Kyrgyzstan 1,100 million kilowatt-hour of electricity each in 1999. As payment for it, Kyrgyzstan will receive from Uzbekistan 500 milion cubic meters of gas for power and heating plants in Bishkek and Osh. Also, Kazakhstan will give Kyrgyzstan 566,000 metric tons of coal and 250 million kilowatt-hour electricity for some regions of Kyrgyzstan.

SOME ARRESTED OFFICIALS ARE RELEASED.
Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs Kurmanbek Kubatbekov held a news conference in Bishkek on 20 April. According to him, 3 persons, being accused of corruption and arrested earlier this year, have been relesed recently due to their health problems. They are Karypbek Asanov and Jumakadyr Akeneev, two former ministers of agriculture, and Erkin Alimov, Chairman of the KRAMDS Bank. However, according to Kubatbekov, criminal investigations against them are under way still.

Among other arrested people are: Deputy Minister of Finance Stamakun Asanaliev, Deputy Director of the Customs Inspection Muratbek Malabayev, Director of the State Veterinary Department Dardanov, finance ministry chief-of-staff Alymbek Biyalinov and others.

DEADLINE FOR DESERTERS EXPIRES.
Deputy Mlitary Prosecutor of Kyrgyzstan Toktogul Chikeev announced in Bishkek on 20 April that a deadline for servicemen, who left their military units vithout permission expired that day. Beginning on 21 April, all deserters will be considered law violated persons.

According to Chikeev, 867 young servicemen have left their military units since 1994, but about 40 percent of them have been back after the governmental warnings.

WORLD BANK HELPS KYRGYZSTAN ON MILLENIUM BUG.
According to the govermental press service, a special commission on the millenium bug has been formed at the Ministry of Transport and Communications. The commission has already received a 100,000-dollar grant from the World Bank. It is possible to receive from the WB an additional $500,000 if the commission prepares a detailed project.

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