Kyrgyzstan's new president to make first foreign visit to Kazakhstan

Photo: Kyrgyzstan's new president to make first foreign visit to Kazakhstan / Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan's newly-elected president, Roza Otunbayeva, will pay her first foreign visit to Kazakhstan, a spokesman for the Kyrgyz interim government, Farid Niyazov, said on Sunday, RIA Novosti reported.

"At 14 hours on Sunday, Roza Otunbayeva will fly for an official visit to Astana where she will also attend a EurAsEC summit," Niyazov said.

Niyazov said Otunbayeva would hold a number of bilateral meetings in Kazakhstan with the leaders of the member states of the Eurasian Economic Community (EurAsEC).

Otunbayeva, 59, was sworn in as president for a transitional period until December 31, 2011 on Saturday, after a new constitution was approved by a national referendum last weekend. She becomes both the first female president in Central Asia and of a CIS state.

The Kyrgyz interim government led by Otunbayeva came to power in April amid large-scale opposition protests that overthrew former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev. Bakiyev fled the country and has taken refuge in Belarus.

The Kyrgyz referendum followed several days of bloody interethnic riots that began in the Central Asian republic on June 11. The clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks claimed the lives of more than 280 people, according to government figures, but Kyrgyz officials acknowledge that the real death toll may be 10 times higher.

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