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U.S., Kyrgyzstan Discuss Troubled Ties

The U.S. principal deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asian affairs, Richard Hoagland, and Kyrgyz Deputy Foreign Minister Askar Beshimov have discussed the troubled bilateral ties between their two countries in Bishkek.

According to Kyrgyzstan's Foreign Ministry, Hoagland and Beshimov focused on July 29 on the Kyrgyz government's recent decision to terminate a long-standing cooperation agreement.

The ministry did not provide further details.

Kyrgyzstan's government formally terminated the 1993 agreement on cooperation with the United States earlier in July after Bishkek protested a U.S. decision to grant a prestigious human rights award to an imprisoned ethnic Uzbek activist from Kyrgyzstan.

Azimjan Askarov, who is serving a life sentence, was awarded the 2014 Human Rights Defender prize from the State Department, which praised him for "bringing together people of all ethnicities."

Bishkek called the award was a "provocation" that could nurture a dangerous "separatist mood" among Kyrgyzstan's Uzbek minority.

Washington warned that terminating the accord could "jeopardize" assistance to the country.

Askarov, 64, was convicted after interethnic clashes in southern Kyrgyzstan in June 2010 when more than 400 people were killed.

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