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Bakiev, NGOs Sign Cooperation Agreement

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev meets with NGO leaders in Bishkek.
BISHKEK -- Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev and some 30 nongovernmental organizations today signed a cooperation agreement after talks in Bishkek, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Bakiev said called the document "historic" and said it will encourage a new, positive cooperation between the government and NGOs.

But many leading Kyrgyz NGOs refused to attend the meeting because they were upset with demands that they provide their questions to Bakiev in advance of the meeting and could only discuss those topics.

Toleikan Ismailova, a prominent NGO leader, told RFE/RL that Bakiev met with some NGO leaders behind closed doors and that the agreement will not bring any benefits to Kyrgyz society.