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Kyrgyzstan: NATO Secretary General To Visit Next Year

Bishkek, 16 December 1996 (RFE/RL)- Kyrgyzstan says NATO Secretary General Javier Solana will visit Kyrgyzstan next year. Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Minister Roza Otunbaeva was in Brussels last week and met Solana.

They discussed problems of refugees, organized crime, and drug smuggling in Central Asia. NATO has sponsored several seminars on these issued in Central Asia. Otunbaeva also told Solana of plans for forming a Central Asian peacekeeping battalion among Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

The battalion is expected to participate in NATO "Partnership for Peace" program exercises in Central Asia next year. Our correspondent reports Solana agreed to visit Bishkek in the first half of 1997.