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Kyrgyz Report: September 14, 1999

14 September 1999

Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev met with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in Berlin on 13 September. According to an RFE/RL correspondent accompanying President Akayev, bilateral economic cooperation between Germany and Kyrgyzstan was discussed. Vice Prime Minister Esengul OmurAliyev of Kyrgyzstan attended the meeting. Also, Akayev met in Berlin with President Johannes Rau as well as the President of the German Bundestag. Akayev is the first state leader to meet with the German Chancellor in the new residence in Berlin.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Omuraliev, President Akayev thanked Germany for its support during the first stage of economic reforms in Kyrgyzstan and asked Germany to support Kyrgyzstan in constructing a new hydro-power station and in exporting electricity to neighboring China. Also, Akayev asked for a DM 75-million loan to support small business in Kyrgyzstan and an additional DM 20-million in technical help. Chancellor Schroeder promised to consider the issue.

President Akayev and the Kyrgyz delegation met with authorities of Berlin on 12 September and visited the city of Potsdam in the afternoon of 13 September.

On 14 September, President Akayev and the government delegation visited the cities of Bonn, Cologne and Dusseldorf. Two agreements were signed in Bonn between the German and Kyrgyz governments: on cooperation in transport communication and on financial cooperation. According to the latter, Germany will give Kyrgyzstan a DM 60-million loan for 40 years with annual interest of 0.75 percent. According to Deputy Prime Minister Esengul Omuraliev, the money will be used for health care service and reconstruction of the energy system.

Also in Bonn, President Akayev presented his doctrine of Great Silk Road Diplomacy at the Bonn University. In Cologne, the Kyrgyz delegation met with German businessmen. In Dusseldorf, they met with the leadership of the Thyssen company.

Speaker of the parliamentary People's Assembly Abdygany Erkebayev, Vice Prime Minister Esengul Omuraliev, head of the presidential administration Medet Sadyrkulov, Minister of Transport and Communications Jantoro Satybaldiev, and other Kyrgyz officials as well as about 100 Kyrgyz businessmen accompanied the president.

Talant Razzakov, directorate head at the Security Ministry, told an RFE/RL correspondent in Bishkek on 13 September that mediator Tursunbek Akunov, Chairman of the Human Rights Movement of Kyrgyzstan, was taken by a military helicopter on 12 September from Bishkek to the village of Sary-Talaa in the Batken district. He was accompanied by military officials, but planned to proceed to the rebel base without them. According to Razzakov, Akunov must be assured by the rebels that all the hostages are alive and should see them personally. Only then will Akunov hand the rebels a message from the government on holding unofficial negotiations on the release of the hostages.

An RFE/RL correspondent in Batken reported that Akunov and his aide Suiunduk Urkunchiev departed from the village of Sary-Talaa to the rebel base in the village of Kojo-Ashkan on the morning of 13 September where he was expected to meet guerrilla leader Yunus Abdrakmanov. Last week, Akunov brought a message from Abdrakmanov on holding talks with the government. Earlier, Akunov's aides had delivered two letters from the hostages to the Kyrgyz government and an answer to the rebels. Akunov arrived at the rebel base late in August and has held four rounds of talks with Abdrakmanov.

On his return from the rebels base on 14 September, Akunov held a closed meeting in Batken with General Abdygul Chotbaev, Commander of the Kyrgyz National Guards. Before that meeting, Chotbaev told an RFE/RL correspondent in Batken that a decision on future actions against the rebels will be taken by the morning of 15 September. Akunov told our correspondent that he held talks with rebel leader Yunus Abdrakmanov on 13 and 14 September, but did not elaborate. According to Akunov, Abdrakmanov wants to meet with Kyrgyz government officials now and said that he will not demand a ransom for the hostages. Akunov said the rebels did not allow him to meet the hostages personally, but Akunov has brought letters from them.

Security Council secretary General Bolot Januzakov announced in Bishkek on 13 September that a rebel had been detained near the village of Zardaly in Batken district during the night of 11-12 September. He had been severely wounded and is now in the hospital in the town of Batken. According to local officials, his name is Vagiz Jaganov and he was born in the Samarkand region of Uzbekistan in 1981.

Security Council secretary General Bolot Januzakov announced in Bishkek on 13 September that President Askar Akayev signed a special decree on 11 Septemer sacking First Deputy Defense Minister General Ismail Isakov. According to Januzakov, Isakov is one of the high military officials responsible for recalling government troops from the village of Zardaly on 22 August. The same day, the rebels attacked Batken district and took hostages. Earlier in September, General Isakov sent President Akayev a special report saying he had his own plan to release hostages.

Former Defense Minister General Myrzakan Subanov announced on 22 August that the military operation against the rebels was over, and recalled the troops.

A three-day meeting of the leaders of the border guard services of the CIS countries was held in the resort town of Cholpon-Ata on Lake Issyk-Kul on 10-12 September. They discussed amendments to the documents on cooperation between the services and prepared suggestions for the heads of states. According to the governmental press service, the current situation in southern Kyrgyzstan was also discussed and a special appeal to the leaders of the CIS was adopted.

The heads of the services of Armenia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan also took part. Russia sent the deputy head of the service, General Kozhevnikov. Tajikistan sent a representative of its service. It was the 35th meeting of the CIS border guard services.

The Security Ministry announced in Bishkek on 13 September that thirteen people suspected of being religious extremists have been detained in the southern districts of Aravan, Kara-Suu and Nookat last week. According to the Interior Ministry, it has detained two additional extremists in the city of Osh and the Nookat district.

U.S. Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Ann Sigmund and Kyrgyz Finance Minister Sultan Mederov signed a protocol in Bishkek on 13 Septemberon humanitarian aid to Kyrgyzstan from the U.S. According to the protocol, Kyrgyzstan will receive 72,000 tons of grain in a few months.

A six-day international conference sponsored by the UNESCO on culture and religion in Central Asia began in Bishkek on 13 September. Dudu Diena, representative of UNESCO Director General Federico Mayor, and Kyrgyz State Secretary Ishenbai Abdurazakov delivered speeches at the opening ceremonies. Scholars and experts from 17 countries are taking part in the conference. Among them are Shirin Akiner from London university and Lewis David from Oxford.