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Kyrgyz Leaders Promise Akaev Safe Return

President Akaev (file photo) Moscow, 30 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's interim authorities promised ousted President Askar Akaev today that he may safely return to Kyrgyzstan.

Provisional security chief Feliks Kulov told reporters in the Kyrgyz capital Bishkek that the authorities will give Akaev guarantees for his personal safety and guarantees for his assets so that he can resign in an orderly way.

In an interview yesterday on Russia's Channel One television, Akaev said he was still president, but said he would consider resigning if he is given certain guarantees.

He did not specify what guarantees he wanted, but in an earlier interview with Russia's Ekho Moskvy radio station he said he would only return to his country if he received security guarantees for himself and his family.

At the same time, he stated he was the legitimate leader of Kyrgyzstan. "I have not resigned as president yet, therefore I consider myself the one and only legitimate, elected president. At the moment I see no reason to resign."

Akaev fled Kyrgyzstan last week after opposition protesters stormed government buildings in the capital, Bishkek.

(international agencies)

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