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Kazakh-Kyrgyz Border Remains Closed, Despite Nazarbaev Promise

BISHKEK -- The Kazakh-Kyrgyz border remains closed despite talks via phone between Kyrgyz interim government head Roza Otunbaeva and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

Edil Baisalov, the chief of staff of Kyrgyzstan's interim government, told RFE/RL that Otunbaeva and Nazarbaev spoke on the phone on May 4 to discuss reopening the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border, which has been closed by Kazakhstan since clashes between antigovernment protesters and security forces on April 7 that ousted President Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Baisalov said Nazarbaev explained the decision to close the border by the fact that an unknown numbers of weapons had been taken by protesters from Kyrgyz police during the deadly clashes, mainly in Bishkek, that left more than 80 people dead and hundreds of others injured.

Baisalov said Nazarbaev pledged to reopen the border as of May 5. But the Kazakh-Kyrgyz border remained closed, RFE/RL reported.

The closure of the border by Kazakhstan has hurt many Kyrgyz businesses.