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Kyrgyzstan: Short News Items

Bishkek, 27 February 1997 (RFE/RL) - Kyrgyzstan's foreign ministry said today that President Askar Akayev will visit Kazakhstan on March 28 for talks on bilateral cooperation. The ministry said Akayev will also make visits to the three Caucasian republics -- Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia -- from April 21-24.

Akayev is due tomorrow to join Central Asian leaders in Almaty for a summit on the ecologically-damaged Aral Sea.

Prime Minister Sues Newspaper

A Bishkek judge told our correspondent today that Kyrgyz Prime Minister Apas Joumagulov has sued the independent paper Kriminal.

Judge Maksuda Omorova of the Pervomai district court said Joumagulov is asking for about 6,000 dollars (100,000-som) in damages.

The paper last month said Joumagulov had built a private house outside Bishkek on land that used to belong to a cemetery. According to the paper, skeletons were removed from the site during construction.

The publication of Kriminal was halted earlier this month after the Justice Ministry accused the paper of violating a media law with its registration. Court proceedings to settle the issue have been delayed twice.