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Kyrgyz President Bakiev 'Resigns'


Ousted President Bakiev Leaves Kyrgyzstan
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WATCH: Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiev leaves a rally in the southern Kyrgyz city of Osh after it was disrupted by a large crowd of his opponents. (Reuters video)

(RFE/RL) -- Kyrgyz interim government officials say President Kurmanbek Bakiev has resigned.

Edil Baisalov, the chief of staff of the self-proclaimed interim government, confirmed to RFE/RL that Bakiev has stepped down.

"According to one of the key conditions of the international community, [Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek] Bakiev wrote his official resignation paper, signed it, and left [his post]," Baisalov said.

Bakiev has also left Kyrgyzstan. Kazakh Foreign Ministry official, Roman Vassilenko, has confirmed to RFE/RL that Bakiev arrived in Taraz, in south Kazakhstan.

The OSCE chairperson-in-office, Kazakhstan's secretary of state, and Foreign Minister Kanat Saudabaev, said in a statement that the agreement on Bakiev's departure had been reached in talks with Kyrgyzstan's interim officials along with international mediators.

Saudabaev's statement said Bakiev's departure was the result of "joint efforts" involving Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, U.S. President Barack Obama, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.

It said the "development is an important step towards the stabilization of the situation, a return to a framework providing for the rule of law, and the prevention of a civil war in Kyrgyzstan."

Chief of Staff Baisalov said the agreement allows for the UN Security Council to act on the results of an independent, international investigation and press for Bakiev to return to Kyrgyzstan under arrest to face trial.

"According to one of the key conditions of the international community, [Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek] Bakiev wrote his official resignation paper, signed it, and left [his post]," Baisalov said.

He also said former defense minister Bakyt Kalyev has been arrested and "a search is underway" for Bakiev's brother, Janysh.

The development came shortly after Bakiev told reporters in his native village of Teyit in southern Jalal-Abad province that Nazarbaev had called him and invited him to Kazakhstan. The former president had been based in Teyit since he left the capital following last week's political upheaval in Bishkek.

Bakiev said he was offered political asylum by Belarus but that he had turned it down. He had also said he was willing to resign if the interim government gave safety guarantees for himself and his family.

Interrupted Rally

Head of the interim government, Roza Otunbaeva, said previously that Bakiev must stand trial for ordering security forces to open fire on antigovernment protesters in Bishkek last week. More than 80 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the riots. Bakiev has denied giving the order to shoot and blamed his opponents for the deaths of the protesters.

The latest developments came hours after his attempt to address a rally in the neighboring town of Osh was interrupted by a large crowd of his opponents.

Bakiev's armed guards began shooting into the air as the crowd -- consisting mostly of young men -- disrupted the pro-Bakiev rally. Bakiev left the scene in his black SUV.

Jalal-Abad and Osh, Kyrgyzstan's second largest city -- dubbed the country's southern capital -- are located some 110 kilometers from each other.

Hours after the incident in Osh, a senior official of the interim government accused Bakiev of trying to provoke violence.

Temir Sariev, the interim government's deputy prime minister and finance minister, told reporters in Bishkek that "Bakiev and his close circle are very interested now in provoking clashes, they provoke us."

Sariev called on Bakiev to show restraint. He also sought to reassure people that the new team in Bishkek was capable of preventing a civil war in the country.

"There will be no civil war. In the Osh region both the city mayor and the regional governor recognized the new government and were appointed by the new government," Sariev said.

Meanwhile, Otunbaeva's other deputy, Almazbek Atambaev, arrived in Turkey today to seek economic aid.

Turkey's Anatolia news agency quoted Atambaev as saying, "There are many problems in Kyrgyzstan. Lots of money was stolen [by the previous leadership] and that is why I am in Ankara."

Atambaev flew in from Moscow, where he secured Moscow's pledge of $50 million after meeting with Putin and other Russian officials.

In other developments, Bakiev held a telephone conversation with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on April 14, for the first time since he fled Bishkek.

What they discussed remains unclear. Putin's press service told news agencies that the conversation was "at the initiative of President Kurmanbek Bakiev."

compiled from RFE/RL, Reuters, and other agency reporting