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Kyrgyz Report: November 2, 1999


2 November 1999

PRESIDENT AKAYEV MAY ATTEND OSCE SUMMIT.
The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe office in Bishkek announced on 2 November that Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev has been invited to the OSCE summit to be held in Istanbul on 18-19 November. OSCE Chairman-In-Office and Norwegian Foreign Minister Knut Vollebaek announced during his recent visit to Bishkek last month that international terrorism and the situation along state border between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan will be discussed at the summit.

MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT APPEAL TO CONSTITUTIONAL COURT.
According to the parliamentary press service, three members of the Legislative Assembly have appealed to the Constitutional Court to rule on whether the law on amendments to the law on social and pension guaranties passed in parliament in September corresponds to the Kyrgyz Constitution. Parliament deputies Alevtina Pronenko, Adaham Madumarov and Daniyar Usenov signed the appeal.

The draft prepared by the government passed in the parliamentary Legislative Assembly on 29 September and was signed into law by President Askar Akayev last week. According to it, the current basic pension rate may not be raised in Kyrgyzstan before 2005. In addition, pensions may be raised only in proportion to changes in the average salary, not according to inflation or changes in the minimal subsistence level. The basic rate of pension should be equal to 12 percent of an average salary, which was 957 soms per month (about $23) in September. The official minimal subsidiary level was 1,123 soms per month.

Twenty-three out of nominal 35 members of the Assembly voted for the draft on 29 September. Deputies Adaham Madumarov, Alevtina Pronenko, Daniyar Usenov and Jypar Jeksheev walked out had of the session before the voting in protest.

NEW APPOINTMENT.
The presidential press service announced in Bishkek on 2 November that head of the juridical department in the presidential administration, Marat Kayipov, has been replaced by his deputy, Murat Ukushev.

SOCIALIST PARTY AGAINST REMOVING LENIN STATUE.
Chairman of the Socialist Ata-Meken party MP Omurbek Tekebaev said in Bishkek on 2 November that he has prepared a special draft law on the Lenin statue in the center of Bishkek. There is only one clause in the draft, affirming that the statue is a national property and must never be removed.

FOREIGN MINISTER TO IRAN.
The Foreign Ministry announced in Bishkek on 1 November that Minister Muratbek ImanAliyev departed for Iran earlier that day. During his official visit, which lasts until 3 November, ImanAliyev will meet Iranian President Khatami, parliamentary Speaker Nateq-Nuri, Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi, and other state officials and will discuss bilateral relations. President Askar Akayev's planned visit to Iran is also on the agenda.

MORE NEGOTIATIONS WITH THE REBELS NEEDED.
Ambassador Tursunbai Bakir Uulu told a news conference in Bishkek on 1 November that talks with the rebel leaders are not over yet and he needs to meet them again. But he has not been able to meet President Askar Akayev for the last two weeks to discuss the issue before leaving to meet the rebels. Bakir Uulu said some government officials are preventing him from meeting with the president and, if he cannot meet Akayev, he will have to reveal all the circumstances of the hostages' release.

Bakir Uulu, who is also a parliament deputy and Chairman of the Presidential Commission on Human Rights, held talks with rebel leaders abroad and secured the release of seven hostages on 12 and 18 October. The last group of hostages (including four Japanese geologists) was released through the mediation of First Deputy Security Minister Valeri Verchagin on 25 October. Bakir Uulu says the Japanese hostages were released as a result of his previous agreement with the rebel leaders.

Bakir Uulu also told the meeting he is trying now to negotiate the release of 63 people imprisoned in Kyrgyzstan for their religious activity.

JAPAN WILL CONTINUE TO COOPERATE WITH KYRGYZSTAN.
The director of the State Agency for Geology and Mineral Resources, Sheishenaly Murzagaziev, said in Bishkek on 1 November that the Japanese geology agencies have temporarily suspended cooperation with Kyrgyzstan on gold mining, but they are ready to set up a new joint geological center in Kyrgyzstan. The center will engage in exploiting mineral mines in northern regions of Kyrgyzstan, and the Japanese side is ready to invest $4 million in it.

Japanese geologists began to help Kyrgyzstan to develop the Altyn-Jylga gold mine in the south in 1997 and invested about $2 million in the project. Four Japanese geologists were taken hostage at Altyn-Jylga on 22 August. According to information from the United Tajik Opposition, the Japanese government had paid a $5 million ransom for the geologists, who were released late last month. There is about 40 metric tons of gold in Altyn-Jylga.

ANNIVERSARY OF KYRGYZ POLICE.
According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev took part in the 1 November celebration of the 75th anniversary of Kyrgyz police service, and delivered a speech at a meeting in the Interior Ministry. According to the president, the state frontier with Tajikistan should be fully guarded because about 2,000 rebels are being trained at bases on Tajik territory and are ready to invade Kyrgyzstan again.

CIS SECURITY MEETING IN BISHKEK.
Security Council General Secretary General Askarbek Mameev announced in Bishkek on 1 November that a meeting of heads of security councils of those CIS countries which signed the CIS Collective Security Agreement in 1992 will be held in Bishkek on 5 November. Askar Akayev is the initiator of the meeting, and representatives of Uzbekistan are invited to attend even though Uzbekistan did not prolong its membership in the agreement earlier this year. International terrorism and security issues in Central Asia will be discussed at the meeting.

MILITARY EXERCISES END.
Defense Ministry Department Head Colonel Oleg Chechel told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 1 November that five days of military exercises in southern Kyrgyzstan ended that day. Troops from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took part in the exercises, the main goal of which was to find a joint tactic against international terrorism. The results of the exercises will be discussed in Fergana on 3 November and Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev may attend that session.

GAS DELIVERIES FROM UZBEKISTAN SHOULD BE INCREASED.
Deputy Director General of the governmental Kyrgyzgas company Toktosun AbduvAliyev told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 1 November that Kyrgyzstan receives 40,000 cubic meters of natural gas per hour from Uzbekistan at present, which is not enough for all necessities. In the winter, Kyrgyzstan will need 90,000 cubic meters of gas per hour. That is why urgent negotiations with Uzbek government should be held.

Kyrgyzstan owes Uzbekistan about $3 million for previous gas deliveries. Kyrgyz officials visited Tashkent several times this year but could not resolve the problem. Prime Minister Amangeldi MurAliyev visited Uzbekistan last July, Vice Prime Minister Esengul OmurAliyev visited Tashkent last September.

KYRGYZSTAN CELEBRATES VICTORY OVER REBELS.
On 31 October Kyrgyz state officials and local residents celebrated in the town of Batken the country's victory over the rebels and the formation of the new, Batken province. Defense Minister General Esen Topoev, Commander of the National Guards General Abdygul Chotbaev, newly appointed Governor of the Batken province and parliament deputy Mamat Aibalaev, members of parliament Rahat Achylova, Dosbol Nur Uulu, and other officials attended.

The rebels who invaded Kyrgyzstan on 22 August left Kyrgyz territory voluntarily in mid-October. The rebels stated that they won the war because they came when they wanted and left when they wanted. According to them, their main goal was to show the world that there is armed opposition to the incumbent Uzbek regime, and they achieved this aim.

About 25 people were taken hostage by the rebels on Kyrgyz territory in August, some of them were released later and 13 hostages were held until recently. The last group of hostages, including 4 Japanese geologists, were released in Tajikistan on 25 October. Sources in the United Tajik Opposition told RFE/RL correspondent in Moscow on 29 October that the Japanese government paid the rebels $6 million for release of the Japanese hostages. Both the Kyrgyz and Japanese governments deny that any ransom was paid.

PRESIDENT AKAYEV VISITS ISSYK-KUL REGION.
According to the presidential press service, President Askar Akayev visited Issyk-Kul region on 30 October, where he attended the celebrations devoted to erecting a statue of prominent 19th century philosopher Kalygul in the village of Kara-Oi. Akayev returned to Bishkek the same day.

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