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Kyrgyz, Uzbek Ministers Discuss Andijon Refugees

Uzbek refugees in Kyrgyzstan 5 June 2005 -- The Kyrgyz and Uzbek foreign ministers met on 4 June to discuss the fate of refugees who have sought asylum in Kyrgyzstan after recent violence in Uzbekistan's eastern city of Andijon.

Details of the meeting in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh between Kyrgyzstan's acting Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva and Uzbek Foreign Minister Elyor Ganiyev were not forthcoming.

About 500 Uzbek citizens have stayed in a tent camp on the Kyrgyz side of the border, unwilling to return home because they fear repression at home. Uzbekistan has pushed for their expulsion.

Some Kyrgyz officials oppose refugee status for the Uzbeks.

But the United Nations refugee agency has urged Bishkek to provide shelter for Uzbeks fleeing violence.

Authorities moved the Uzbeks on 4 June to the village of Sasyk in Bazar-Korgon district, deeper in Kyrgyz territory, where better living conditions are available.


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