Monday, November 29, 1999

`If radicals seize power in Kyrgyzstan, it would be dangerous`

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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has warned that the failure of secular regime in Kyrgyzstan could push the former Soviet Central Asian republic on the Taliban-style rule."The most dangerous scenario would be if radicals came to power, and if they did so legitimately," Medvedev said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal ahead of his next week's US visit."We might see Kyrgyzstan that will be developing in line with the Afghan scenario, which is the scenario of the Taliban period... It will be extremely dangerous for our country and Central Asian countries," he said.He said Kyrgyzstan authorities must themselves tackle the humanitarian "tragedy" in that country and praised Uzbekistan for its "balanced position.""I think there is no need to involve Russian peacekeepers, and our Kyrgyz partners withdrew that request, because actually it is they themselves that must resolve this situation, it is an internal affair," he said.More than two thousand people have been feared killed and several thousand injured in a week long inter-ethnic violence in the South Kyrgyzstan cities of Osh and Jalalabad, although official figures are 'at least ten times less', acting President Rosa Otunbayeva conceded.The conflict has displaced over four lakh Uzbek minority of which one lakh have taken refuge in neighbouring Uzbekistan.Medvedev has ordered massive humanitarian aid to Uzbekistan, which is facing the brunt of refugee influx in already densely populated and volatile Ferghana Valley.

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