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Kyrgyz President Meets With Russian Defense Minister

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov (left), Kyrgyz Prime Minister Feliks Kulov (center), and Kyrgyz Defense Minister Ismail Isakov at a joint military drill outside Osh on October 5 (RFE/RL) BISHKEK, October 5, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev today met in Bishkek with visiting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov.

The Kyrgyz presidential administration said in a statement that Bakiev praised military cooperation with Russia and Moscow's role in enhancing "stability and security in the region."

Bakiev also called on Russia to help Kyrgyzstan restore its military-industrial complex.

After his talks with Bakiev, Ivanov went to the southern Osh region to attend the final phase of a joint Kyrgyz-Russian counterterrorism drill.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Feliks Kulov and Defense Minister Ismail Isakov were on hand as well to observe the maneuvers.

The exercise, which involves some 500 troops, began on October 3.

(with Interfax-AVN, RIA-Novosti, Kabar)