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Kyrgyz Opposition Pulls Out Of Government Talks

Temir Sariev
Temir Sariev
BISHKEK -- The Kyrgyz opposition has decided to pull out of planned talks with the government, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.

The talks between the opposition and authorities began earlier this week and were scheduled to resume on March 13.

Opposition Ak Shumkar (White Falcon) party leader Temir Sariev told RFE/RL that since opposition leader and former Foreign Minister Alikbek Jekshenkulov was not released from jail on March 11, the opposition United Popular Movement (BEK) decided not to continue talks.

Sariev says the authorities demonstrated their unwillingness to cooperate by refusing to release Jekshenkulov.

Jekshenkulov was arrested this week and charged with complicity in the murder of a Turkish businessman in 2007.

His lawyer’s request to release him during the investigation was denied.

The opposition says the charges are politically motivated due to Jekshenkulov's work with the opposition.