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Kyrgyz Report: June 15, 1999


15 June 1999

PRIME MINISTER HOLDS MEETINGS.
Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev held a governmental meeting behind closed doors in Bishkek on 15 June. According to the governmental press service, the meeting was devoted to draft amendments to the laws on taxes, excises, customs duties. The current economic situation in the country was also discussed.

According to Saparbek Sheraliev, deputy director of the State Committee on Foreign Investments, the committee has suggested to the government recently that the law on foreign investments should be amended to relax the current strict rules for foreign investors.

MurAliyev also met later with rectors of Kyrgyzstan's universities and institutes. According to sources in government, the rectors had a meeting with Medet Sadyrkulov, head of the presidential administration, last week at which the possible resignation of Minister of Education, Science and Culture Sovetbek Toktomyshev was discussed. The rectors are displeased with the ministry which cannot finance the universities and wants to gain profit from their commercial activity the same time.

PRESIDENT WILL MEET BANKERS.
According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev will meet with leaders of commercial banks of the country in Bishkek on 16 June. The current economical situation in the country and the activity of commercial banks will be discussed.

Several commercial banks have been deprived of governmental licenses recently. It will be the second Akayev�s meeting with bankers this year. He met with them last February.

MEETING ON MIGRATION PROCESSES.
The center on migration processes held an international seminar in Bishkek on 15 June which was attended by the deputy foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan as well as representatives of the UN and Inter-State council of the Central Asian Union. Problems of migration in Central Asia were discussed. The Central Asian Union includes Kazakhsatan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. According to the foreign Ministry, the next seminar will be held in August.

GAS SUPPLIES FROM UZBEKISTAN INTERRUPTED AGAIN.
The Kyrgyzgas state company announced in Bishkek on 14 June that Kazakhstan's Intergas private company halted gas deliveries from Uzbekistan to the northern regions of Kyrgyzstan, including the capital, Bishkek, that morning. Due to the mountainous relief of its territory, Kyrgyzstan receives natural gas from Uzbekistan through the Kazakh territory.

According to the Kyrgyzgas, its delegation left for Almaty, Kazakhstan, to hold negotiations with the Intergas leadership earlier on 14 June. The Kyrgyz government owes Intergas $3.2 million for gas transportation.

Intergas has interrupted gas deliveries to Kyrgyzstan several times in 1999. A Kazakh government delegation led by Vice Prime Minister Janybek Karipjanov visited Bishkek on 29 May. According to First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Silaev of Kyrgyzstan, the two sides had agreed during that meeting that there would be no interruptions in the future. Kazakhstan owes Kyrgyzstan $22 million for power supply.

NEWS CONFERENCE OF PRIME MINISTER.
Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev held a news conference in Bishkek on 14 June on the 'Bases of Complex Development' international seminar, held in Washington, D.C., last week. A Kyrgyz delegation led by MurAliyev took part in the seminar, including Finance Minister Marat Sultanov, acting Chairman of the National Bank Ulan Sarbanov and several members of parliament.

According to Muraliev, one day of the seminar, 9 June, was devoted to the current economic situation in Kyrgyzstan, and more than 20 donor-organizations took part in a discussion. Now, representatives of those donor-organizations will visit Kyrgyzstan on 7 July to discuss a program of economic assistance to Kyrgyzstan till 2010.

PRESIDENT VETOES A LAW.
Presidential press secretary Kanybek ImanAliyev announced in Bishkek on 14 June that President Askar Akayev had vetoed the law on protecting honor and dignity, passed in the parliamentary Legislative Assembly last May. According to Imanaliev, the law violates both the Kyrgyz Constitution and international conventions on human rights signed by Kyrgyzstan.

MP Omurbek Tekebaev, the author of the law, told our correspondent in Bishkek the same day that the Legislative Assembly could overcome the presidential veto.

GRAIN STOCKS ARE STOLEN.
Bolot Januzakov, head of the department on security and defense affairs in the presidential administration, announced in Bishkek on 14 June that 16,000 metric tons of grain have been stolen from the Kyrgyz Dan-Azyk agricultural company in last two years. The grain belonged to the government and its cost is 45 million som (about $1 million). An investigation has begun.

Bread and flour prices have increased in the country by about 30 percent recently due to lack of grain reserves.

PARLIAMENTARY SPEAKER TO SAINT PETERSBURG.
According to the parliamentary press service, Speaker of the People�s Assembly Abdygany Erkebaev departed on 14 June for St.Petersburg to take part in a meeting of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, to begin the following day Also, an economic forum of the CIS will be held in St. Petersburg on 16 June at which Erkebaev will deliver a speech on the current economic situation in Kyrgyzstan.

PERSONNEL CHANGES IN THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.
The Muftiyat (the Muslim Board) of Kyrgyzstan announced some recent personnel changes in Bishkek on 14 June. Toichubek Moldo Ishen Uulu, Kazy of the Naryn Region, has been dismissed and replaced by Nigmatulla Ajy Jeenbekov, former department head in the Muftiyat. The Joint Kasiyat of Bishkek and Chu region has been divided into two separate kaziyats and Abdymanap Kazy Masaliev, former Imam of the Bishkek Mosque, has been appointed Kazy of Bishkek. The former department head in the Muftiyat, Moldo Ashyr Seidaliev, has been appointed Kazy of the Chu Region.

PRIME MINISTER�S VISIT TO UZBEKISTAN POSTPONED.
The governmental press service announced in Bishkek on 12 June that the Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev�s visit to Tashkent, set for 12 June, has been postponed for an indefinite period. The reasons for the postponement were not explained.

TURKIC SUMMIT IS ALSO POSTPONED.
Department head in the presidential administration Askar Aitmatov announced in Bishkek on 12 June that the summit of presidents of the Turkic states, scheduled to be held in Baku on 14-15 June, has been postponed till September. According to Aitmatov, it has been done on request of Turkish President Suleiman Demiral and due to Azerbaijani President Heidar Aliev�s illness.

SEMINAR ON ARAL SEA ENDED.
The third international seminar on problems of Aral Sea ended in Bishkek on 11 June. A program of measures to save the sea by 2030 was discussed. The first two such seminars were held in Tashkent and Almaty. Now, the final seminar will be held at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris in 2000.

CENTRAL ASIAN SUMMITS IN KYRGYZSTAN.
The Foreign Ministry announced in Bishkek on 11 June that a meeting of the prime ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan will be held in Bishkek on 18 June. Issues of economical cooperation, formation of common economical area, hydro-power energetics in Central Asia will be discussed.

According to the ministry, a summit of presidents of the Central Asian Union will also be held in Kyrgyzstan on 24-25 June.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV VISITS TOBACCO PLANT.
President Askar Akayev visited the Reentsma-Kyrgyzstan tobacco company, which was built by the Kyrgyztamekisi state tobacco company and the German Reemtsma firm, on 11 June. The German side agreed last year to make a $60-million investment in the tobacco industry in Kyrgyzstan. $12 million has been spent to date to rebuild the old tobacco plant in Kyrgyzstan and the new company will produce 8,000 million cigarettes yearly, of which 25 percent will be exported.

FORMER MAYOR WILL FOUND NEW MOVEMENT.
The "Vecherny Bishkek" daily published an interview with former Mayor of Bishkek Felix Kulov on 11 June. Kulov says he will found the new Ar-Namys (the Honor) movement soon. According to him, the founding conference of the movement will be held soon and it will take part in the forthcoming parliamentary elections. Also, Kulov said the Kyrgyz economy is heading for disaster, and that is why he has decided to remain in politics.

Kulov resigned on 26 April, accusing President Askar Akayev of undemocratic rule. The next parliamentary elections are set for February 2000. According to the new Election Code, passed in the parliament earlier this year, only the parties set up not later than one year before the election date have the right to take part in elections. Kulov said in the 11 June interview that clause of the Election Code is anti-constitutional, and that the Constitutional Court should abrogate it.

MALAYSIAN DELEGATION IN KYRGYZSTAN.
President Askar Akayev received a Malaysian delegation led by President of the Malaysian Academy of Sciences Abdulla Rahman in Bishkek on 11 June. The meeting was held behind closed doors. According to the presidential press service, cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and Malaysia in producing semiconductors was discussed. The delegation will visit the Kristall semiconductor plant in the town of Tash-Komur. Abdulla Rahman is an adviser to the Malaysian Prime Minister, Mohadhir Mohammad.

SEMINAR ON BARSKOON WRAPS UP.
A three-day international seminar on aftermath of the chemical accident near the Barskoon village one year ago ended in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata on 11 June. It was organized by the Soros-Kyrgyzstan Foundation and experts from the US, Russia, Turkey, Hungary, Belarus took part in it.

A truck with 20 tons of sodium cyanide, belonged to the Canadian Cameco corporation, plunged into the Barskoon river on 20 May 1998 and spilled about 2 tons of chemicals. Several people died and more than 1,000 suffered various degrees of poisoning.

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