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Uzbekistan Puts Limits On Kyrgyz Citizens' Visits

The Dostuk checkpoint along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border
TASHKENT/OSH -- Uzbek officials have introduced new regulations that limit the number of visits Kyrgyz citizens can make to Uzbekistan, RFE/RL's Uzbek and Kyrgyz services report.

The new rule restricts citizens of neighboring Kyrgyzstan to only one visit to Uzbekistan per month.

No explanation was given by Uzbek officials for the new regulation.

The regulation will mainly affect the hundreds of thousands of ethnic Uzbeks with Kyrgyz passports who reside in southern Kyrgyzstan, particularly in the Osh region. Many of them have relatives on the other side of the border and travel to Uzbekistan on a regular basis.

Kyrgyz border guards at the Dostuk (Friendship) checkpoint along the Kyrgyz-Uzbek border confirmed the new regulation adopted by Uzbekistan.

Ethnic Uzbeks make up an estimated 15 percent of Kyrgyzstan's 5.5 million people.