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Kyrgyz Opposition, Government Meeting Collapses

(RFE/RL) BISHKEK, October 21, 2006 (RFE/RL) -- A meeting between the Kyrgyz president and leaders of the opposition For Reforms movement has been called off, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reported.

The meeting was intended to ease tensions between the opposition and President Kurmanbek Bakiev ahead of an opposition demonstration scheduled for November 2 in Bishkek.

The opposition is calling for constitutional reforms and Bakiev's resignation.

The opposition objected to the size of the presidential delegation attending today's talks.

Galina Kulikova, leader of the Menin Olkom (My Country) party, blamed the For Reforms movement for the dispute.

“The presidential administration was prepared [to meet] all the conditions presented today by the representatives of the For Reforms movement," Kulikova said. "And when [For Reforms leader] Temir Sariev said the format must be only four people [from the president’s side] and no one else, they told him: 'OK, we agree. Come, and there will be a meeting.' Nevertheless, as you know, the opposition rejected a meeting and went to hold a press conference at [the office of information website], where they said the president was at fault for the meeting being canceled.”

Tursunbek Akun, the head of the president's Human Rights Commission, says both sides are to blame and urged them to engage in constructive dialogue.

Central Asia In Focus

Central Asia In Focus

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