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Foreign Envoys In Bishkek Offer Support, Assistance

Interim Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev. 31 March 2005 -- Several foreign envoys were in Bishkek today to offer help to Kyrgyzstan's new leaders to solve the political situation in their country following the ouster one week ago of President Askar Akaev.

The head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Dimitrij Rupel, said Akaev's presidency should be "formally concluded as soon as possible."

Akayev was ousted when demonstrators stormed his government headquarters on 24 March following weeks of mass protests against parliamentary elections.

The foreign ministers of Ukraine and Georgia -- where similar mass protests in recent months led to the opposition coming to power -- were also in Bishkek today.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Boris Tarasyuk, on a joint visit with Georgian Foreign Minister Salome Zurabishvili, assured Kyrgyzstan's new leaders, including interim President Kurmanbek Bakiev, of their countries' solidarity and support.

"The whole world is watching you," he said. "We firmly believe and hope that the Kyrgyz people, with their rich history and culture, will also be able to overcome today's difficult situation with dignity."

They also urged Kyrgyz citizens to help their interim leaders to establish democracy in the Central Asian country.

Akayev, who fled Kyrgyzstan and is now in Russia, said earlier this week that he might resign if he receives adequate security guarantees.

(Compiled from wire services)

For more background on the crisis in Kyrgyzstan, see RFE/RL's dedicated website Revolution In Kyrgyzstan