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Kyrgyzstan: Russia Agrees To Postpone Debt Payments

Bishkek, 10 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - Kyrgyzstan and Russia have reached agreement on postponing Bishkek's debt payments. Kyrgyzstan's Prime Minister Apas Joumagilov today told Parliament that, at his talks in Moscow yesterday, Russia agreed to postpone payments on Kyrgyzstan's debt for 14 years.

Kyrgyzstan owes Russia $133 million. Joumagilov said Kyrgyzstan's mutual debts with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have also been settled. He said a Ukrainian delegation will visit Kyrgyzstan in March 1997 to discuss Kyiv's $28 million debt to Bishkek.

Small Bishkek Protest At Chinese Embassy

Five elderly ethnic Uighur men picketed China's embassy in Bishkek today, the United Nations-sponsored World Human Rights Day. They handed a representative of the embassy a letter on alleged human rights violations in China's Xinjiang province.

Our correspondent reports that the Chinese representative who took the letter said that because all five men are Kyrgyz citizens, they had no right to question human rights developments in China. There have been persistent reports of Beijing's repression of the separatist Muslim Uighur people in Xinjiang province. About 50,000 ethnic Uighurs live in Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan have pledged to Beijing not to offer support to Uighur separatists.