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Kyrgyz Report: July 13, 1999


13 July 1999

NEW BISHKEK MAYOR NAMED.
On 12 July, a special session of the city council appointed Medetbek Kerimkulov mayor of Bishkek. For more than two months, he had been acting mayor. Kerimkulov had previously been mayor of the cities of Tokmok and Osh.

KYRGYZ DELEGATION RETURNED FROM TASHKENT.
The visit of the Kyrgyz delegation to the Uzbek capital contributed to the development of Kyrgyz-Uzbek bilateral trade and economic relations, said Kyrgyz Prime Minister Amangeldi Muraliev. On 12 July, following his return from the 9-10 July visit to Tashkent, he met media representatives in Bishkek. According to Muraliev, since independence Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan signed 52 bilateral agreements, including one on eternal friendship, but none of them is working at the desired level. As a result, bilateral trade between the countries has fallen by 52% from $102 million in1996. Similar problems arose in verifying the status of industrial companies in border regions, debt issues and the distribution of water resources. At a session of the Kyrgyz-Uzbek economic commission, it was decided to bring the mechanisms of implementing agreements in order.

PROTEST IN DEFENSE OF OPPOSITION NEWSPAPER.
Around 30 people picketed the building of the High Court of Kyrgyzstan on 12 July. According to leader of the Society for the Social Defense of the Population, Mrs. Lidia Fomova, they demanded that the court consider the appeal of the newspaper "Respublica" at an earlier date. "Respublica" was obliged to pay 200,000 soms to the president of Kyrgyz TV and Radio Corporation, Amanbek Karypkulov, for publishing a letter by his discontented employees. On 8 July, the High Court postponed considering the appeal without announcing a date. Jengish Dosmatov, the deputy chairman of the High Court met the discontented employees and promised to look into the possibility of considering the appeal at an earlier date.

PRESIDENTS TO MEET IN BISHKEK.
At the end of August, Bishkek will become the venue for a summit of of participants of the Shanghai Border Agreement. As Foreign Ministry officials informed RL correspondents in the Kyrgyz capital, the presidents of Kyrgyzstan, China, Russia, Kazakhstan and Tajikstan will discuss inter-state relations, regional peace and stability and development of economic relations. The meeting place was selected at the suggestion of Kyrgyzstan.

PENSIONERS PROTEST IN NARYN.
On 13 July more than 50 residents of Naryn oblast, mostly elderly, picketed the building of the oblast administration protesting worsening standards of living. As RL's Naryn correspondent report, the participants demanded the resignation of President Askar Akaev. The deputy governor for social issues, Kanyshai Sajakbaeva, and head of Regional Social Fund, Turgunbek Abraimakunov, met the protesters.

LANDSLIDES IN THE SOUTH.
As a result of a landslide along the Osh-Khorog highway, the Chong-Alai rajon fully and Alai rajon partially are cut off from electricity. As the press service of the Ministry for Emergency Situations and Civic Defense announced, reconstruction efforts are delayed by persisting danger of further landslides.

KYRGYZSTAN PREPARES FOR THE YEAR OF MOUNTAINS.
On 13 July President Askar Akaev signed a decree to set up a national committee to oversee preparations for 2002, which has been announced as the Year of Mountains by the UN upon the suggestion of Kyrgyzstan. The committee, of which Akaev is chairman, is to present a National Program for the Year of Mountains before November.

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