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Kyrgyz Official Criticizes Foreign Partners

Azimbek Beknazarov (file photo)
The deputy head of Kyrgyzstan's government, Azimbek Beknazarov, has used a press conference to lash out at regional and international organizations of which Kyrgyzstan is a member.

Referring to the carnage that broke out in southern Kyrgyzstan when fighting started between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in June, Beknazarov said the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the CIS Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) "ignored us" when "the tragic events started....and we appealed through official channels for help from the SCO and CSTO."

Beknazarov also criticized plans to send 52 OSCE police officers to the south to ease tensions there, saying many people in Kyrgyzstan are against the introduction of foreign police.

"We, Uzbeks and Kyrgyz, have to resolve this problem between ourselves on the basis of historic relations and diplomatically," he said.

"These forces that are to be implemented could disturb the already fragile relations between the two nations. This is my personal point of view."

Beknazarov questioned the OSCE police's impartiality, saying that all the lawyers representing those affected by the conflict, as well as the employees of international missions working under the auspices of the OSCE and other international organizations, are of Uzbek ethnicity.

Not To Run In Elections

A leader of the protests that toppled President Kurmanbek Bakiev in April, Beknazarov also said today he would not run for a seat in parliament but rather stay in the government.

Beknazarov said he had been appointed deputy prime minister. He said his duties will be to help President Roza Otunbaeva work with the country's law enforcement system.

Beknazarov, 54, was the leader of the antigovernment protest in the northwestern city of Talas on April 6. The demonstration turned violent as police tried to force protesters from the provincial government building they had occupied.

Similar protests in Bishkek the next day caused Bakiev to flee the capital.

Beknazarov was part of the interim government that took power in Kyrgyzstan in the wake of the president's ouster. He has been serving as one of Otunbaeva's deputies and as the Prosecutor-General's Office's coordinator of activities and courts.

"I decided not to take part in parliamentary elections as there are many goals and issues the interim government has to deal with," Beknazarov said.

He added that his decision was also motivated by his willingness to make sure that the October parliamentary elections are "fair and clean."

Presidential Immunity

Beknazarov also talked about removing former President Askar Akaev's immunity. He said some members of the government were against stripping Akaev of the immunity he enjoys as a former president.

President Bakiev's immunity was stripped by the interim government shortly after he was ousted in April.

Akaev was toppled by mass protests in 2005. He and members of his family are accused of large-scale corruption and embezzlement during his rule from 1990-2005. He is currently living in Moscow.

RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service, with agency reports