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Kyrgyzstan: Short News Items

Prague, 14 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Kyrgyzstan's President Askar Askayev today announced a re-organization of his government. The re-organization includes a 30 percent reduction in the President's staff, and a reduction of the number of departments in the administration from 13 to nine.

Rights Group Calls On Kyrgyzstan To Allow Independent Paper To Publish

A Conference on Human Rights development in Kyrgyzstan today appealed to the country's Supreme Court to overturn a government decision that banned an independent newspaper. The newspaper, "Criminal," published articles critical of the government in its premiere issue last month. A temporary publication ban was imposed on the newspaper by the Pervomai district's court in Bishkek last week.

The Human Rights Conference also called on the Supreme Court to overturn a 10-year prison sentence against the chairman of the opposition Erkin Kyrgyzstan Party. The Chairman, Topcubek Turgunaliev, was convicted of embezzlement. The Supreme Court is to review the case on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister To Travel To Egypt

Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry today announced Minister Roza Otunbayeva will travel to Egypt on Tuesday. She is scheduled to meet with President Hosni Mubarak and Foreign Minister Amr Musa. Otunbayeva will discuss bilateral relations and set the groundwork for a visit by Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev to Egypt later this year.

NATO General To Discuss Central Asian Peacekeeping Batallion

A NATO delegation led by U.S. Gen. John Sheehan is scheduled to arrive in Bishkek tomorrow. Kyrgyzstan's Defence Ministry today announced the NATO officials will meet with the Defense Minister of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzebkistan on Sunday. They are expected to discuss the formation of a Central Asian peacekeeping batallion.