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Central Asia: First Peacekeeping Exercises Due In 1997

Bishkek, 8 November 1996 (RFE/RL) -- Reports say the first international peace-keeping exercises in Central Asia have been scheduled for next year. Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan arranged the exercises within the framework of NATO's "Partnership for Peace" program. All former Soviet republics, with the exception of Tajikistan, have enrolled in NATO's Partnership program.

Kyrgyzstan announced yesterday that the first stage of exercises will take place in September in Kazakhstan, and the second stage in Uzbekistan. The exercise will involve members of the Central Asian peace-keeping battalion formed by the three countries. Russia, the U.S., Turkey, Ukraine, Denmark and the Baltic states are expected to participate.