Thursday, April 8, 2010

Opposition Leaders Seize Power in Kyrgyzstan


  
KYRKyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev fled the nation's capital, Bishkek, on Wednesday, following street demonstrations that escalated into a full-scale revolt.

Opposition forces coalesced around former foreign minister and former Washington ambassador Roza Otunbayeva, forming an interim government on Thursday afternoon.

According to the New York Times, scheduled talks in Washington between U.S diplomats and senior Kyrgyz officials (including Bakiyev's son, Maksim) would continue as planned this afternoon, notwithstanding the state of play on the ground in Bishkek.

According to U.S. and Russian officials accompanying Presidents Obama and Medvedev in Prague, the Russian Federation and the United States have agreed in principle to cooperate in preserving the Manas airbase outside of Bishkek.  Manas, presently used as a NATO staging area, has been a source of conflict between Russia and the U.S., as Kyrgyzstan had previously decided to turn the airbase over to the Russian Federation.

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