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Kyrgyz Rally At Kazakh Embassy Demands Nazarbaev Apologize

BISHKEK -- Dozens of Kyrgyz activists have picketed the Kazakh Embassy in Bishkek to demand an apology from Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev for derisive comments he made about the uprising in Kyrgyzstan, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Ondurush Toktonasyrov, head of the "April 7" movement, told RFE/RL that the protesters want Nazarbaev to apologize for stating that the April 7 ouster of Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev was "not a revolution, but an act of banditry."

Speaking at the Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty on April 27, Nazarbaev also said that "this is a change of one elite by some other [elite] and a struggle for power."

Toktonasyrov added that protesters are also demanding that Kazakh authorities extradite some former officials from Bakiev's government who fled to Kyrgyzstan after the bloodshed that left more than 80 people dead.

Finally, he said the protesters "also urged the government of Kazakhstan to open the Kyrgyz-Kazakh border," which has been largely closed since April 7.

Kazakh Embassy official Talgat Zholdasov met with the protesters and accepted their petition. He promised them that the ambassador will be told of their demands.

Kazakhstan currently holds the chairmanship of the Organization for Cooperation and Security in Europe (OSCE), of which Kyrgyzstan is also a member. Kazakh Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabaev and other Foreign Ministry officials were active in their capacity as OSCE chair in mediating for Bakiev's resignation and for him to leave Kyrgyzstan.