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Russia, U.S. say Kyrgyz referendum important for stabilization

06-21-2010 08:06 BJT Special Report: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan |

MOSCOW, June 20 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming referendum on a new constitution of Kyrgyzstan was an important factor for the Central Asian state ripped by violence, said Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Sunday.

A statement issued by the Russian Foreign Ministry said the two officials held a telephone conversation on Sunday, "exchanging opinions on situation in Kyrgyzstan."

"Sergei Lavrov and Hillary Clinton stressed the importance of an upcoming June 27 referendum on a draft of a new constitution for a stabilization of a situation in the country and its return to a legal framework," said the statement.

They also said the international community should exert most of the efforts on helping Kyrgyzstan overcome humanitarian aftershocks of the crisis, such as coordinating humanitarian assistance to the country.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday that the world body is appealing for 71 million U.S. dollars of emergency aid for conflict-stricken Kyrgyzstan.

An estimated 300,000 people have been displaced in Kyrgyzstan, and up to 100,000 have fled to Uzbekistan, where some 80,000 are located in camps.

On Sunday, Kyrgyzstan decided to extend a state of emergency in the southern city of Osh and other areas to June 25, while the government forces on Sunday started to clear barricades in Osh, with no resistance.

On Thursday, new regulations were introduced, under which the referendum could be canceled if the country remains in the state of emergency.

Ethnic clashes broke out in mid-June in southern major city of Osh and later spread to the region of Jalalabad.

The official death toll stood at 191 as of Friday, but interim leader Roza Otunbayeva said during an inspection tour to Osh that the real number was likely 10 times higher, as many of the victims were buried quickly in keeping with local tradition.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: Xinhua

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