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OSCE Head Suggests Akaev Should End His Presidency

Ousted President Askar Akaev opening parliament last week Bishkek, 31 March 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The head of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), Dimitrij Rupel, today suggested that ousted Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev should resign.

Rupel made his remarks today in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, after meeting with members of Kyrgyzstan's new leadership.

He said the OSCE thinks that one phase of the political process is now behind Kyrgyzstan. He said that phase is symbolized by the presidency of Akaev. He said it would be best if the Akaev phase is "formally concluded as soon as possible."

Kyrgyzstan's interim President and Prime Minister Kurmanbek Bakiev had talks with Rupel, and said that Kyrgyzstan's new leaders will continue implementing democratic reforms: "The government, which is now being formed in the Kyrgyz Republic, intends to continue all of the democratic transformations that have been taking place up until now, and we will continue them further."

Meanwhile, Akaev is still in Russia. The ousted leader fled Kyrgyzstan a week ago while opposition protesters were overthrowing his government.

(RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service/Reuters/AP/AFP/dpa)