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Kyrgyz President Meets With Putin In First Trip Abroad

Kyrgyzstan's Sadyr Japarov (left) skaes hands with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Moscow
on February 24.
Kyrgyzstan's Sadyr Japarov (left) skaes hands with Russia's Vladimir Putin in Moscow on February 24.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Kyrgyz counterpart Sadyr Japarov have discussed bilateral ties in Moscow as Kyrgyzstan emerges from a political crisis.

Japarov, who was elected president on January 10, arrived in the Russian capital on his first foreign trip as the Central Asian state's leader on February 24.

"Undoubtedly, my first trip abroad to Russia as the president of the Kyrgyz Republic proves the high level of the bilateral ties between our nations. We intend to continue strengthening strategic partnership and allied ties," Japarov said at the meeting with Putin.

Putin expressed hope that the political crisis in Kyrgyzstan would come to an end, calling ties between the two countries "close and privileged."

During Japarov's two-day visit in Moscow he will also hold talks with other top Russian officials, including Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and the speakers of both chambers of parliament.

Kyrgyzstan has been in political crisis since parliamentary elections in October led to protests that triggered the toppling of the government and the resignation of then-President Sooronbai Jeenbekov.

Japarov was among several prominent politicians freed from prison by protesters during the unrest.

He had been serving a 10-year prison sentence for hostage taking during a protest against a mining operation in northeastern Kyrgyzstan in October 2013. He has denied the charge.

The 52-year-old's landslide victory came in an election that international observers said "generally respected" fundamental freedoms even though the vote was not "fully fair."

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax

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