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Kyrgyzstan: News Briefs From The Region

Bishkek, 9 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Reports from Bishkek say Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) foreign ministers are scheduled to meet in Moscow next week to discuss a range of economic, information and security problems.

Developments in Afghanistan are also expected to be discussed.

Kyrgyzstan's president, Askar Akayev, this week also said there will be a special meeting of CIS defense ministers soon to discuss Afghanistan. At last week's Almaty Central Asia-Russia summit, leaders said they would take appropriate actions to defend their interests if Taliban forces threatened Central Asia.

Kyrgyz schools receive textbooks

Bishkek, 9 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyzstan's Education Ministry says more than three tons of Kyrgyz-language textbooks have been sent to ethnic Kyrgyz schools in Tajikistan. Tajikistan has very large ethnic Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbek populations.

Independent weekly fails to appear

Bishkek, 9 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The regular issue of the independent weekly "Res Publica" was not published yesterday in Bishkek.

The editorial staff told RFE/RL that the state publishing house "Uchkun" refused to print the weekly because "Res Publica" owes "Uchkun" 10,000 som (about $800).

However, the editorial staff asserted, the government daily "Slovo Kyrgyzstana" owes the publishing house 370,000 som (about $30,000) but that its printing had not been affected.

Last year, the chief editor of "Res Publica" and her deputy were sentenced to a year and a-half in prison. They were also banned from engaging in journalism. A "Res Publica" correspondent was sentenced to two years in prison in July. All were convicted of the same crime -- insulting President Akayev.