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Turkmenistan Orders Expulsion Of Uzbek Ambassador

Ashgabat, 21 December 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmenistan has ordered the expulsion of Uzbekistan's ambassador to Ashgabat, Abdurashid Kadyrov. The Turkmen Foreign Ministry issued a statement today declaring the Uzbek diplomat persona non grata and giving him 24 hours to leave the country.

The ministry said it took the decision to expel Kadyrov on the basis of evidence presented by Turkmenistan's prosecutor-general. It said this evidence proves Kadyrov's involvement in last month's plot to assassinate Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov.

Uzbek authorities two days ago categorically denied earlier Turkmen accusations that Uzbekistan played any part in the assassination attempt.