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Kyrgyzstan: President Calls For Active Roles From Moscow, Beijing

Bishkek, 25 August 1999 (RFE/RL) - The summit meeting of the presidents of Russia, China and three Central Asian nations has ended in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Closing the meeting today, Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev said that Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Tajikistan welcome a more active regional role for Moscow and Beijing. He said Russia and China have an important role to play as "guarantors of stability" in the region. Earlier, the summit issued a declaration pledging that the five countries will work together to improve security in the region. The declaration underlined the importance of fighting international terrorism, drug and arms trafficking, illegal migration, and religious extremism. It was signed by Akayev and Russia's Boris Yeltsin, China's Jiang Zemin, Nursultan Nazarbaev of Kazakhstan, and Imomali Rakhmonov of Tajikistan.

The five leaders committed themselves to upholding current borders in the area and to clamp down on separatist groups operating on their own territory. They also declared their support for keeping Central Asia free of nuclear weapons. The declaration also stated the five countries' desire to create what they called "a multipolar world" that will ensure long-term security.

The Bishkek participants are known as the "Shanghai Five" because they first met in that Chinese city in 1996 to sign a security agreement. This week's summit is the fourth the group has held. They agreed today to meet again next May in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.