Kyrgyz leader urges calm after deadly conflict with Tajikistan | CNN

Reuters story

Kyrgyz President President Japarov on Monday urged his country to rely on its military and strategic partners, saying there was no need for volunteer troops after last week’s deadly clashes on the border with Tajikistan.

Between September 14 and 16, at least 100 people were killed in fighting involving the use of tanks, aviation and rocket artillery along a disputed section of the border in Kyrgyzstan’s Batkin province.

“We are continuing our efforts to resolve the Kyrgyz-Tajik border issues in a purely peaceful way,” Japarov said in a televised address marking the National Day of Mourning.

“Another point I would like to mention: I appeal for calm among the men and youths who are willing to go to Bitcoin … to repel the brave warriors we have and those who trespass on our borders. There are plenty of forces.”

Japarov also told Kyrgyz not to “trust provocateurs who insult our strategic partners, friendly countries and people who share our position”.

Separately, Russian news agencies, citing a statement by the head of Tajikistan’s Sogdisskaya region, reported that both Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan had agreed to withdraw additional military equipment and forces from the border.

Both sides have also agreed to continue efforts to resolve the border dispute.

Kyrgyz officials also said they had negotiated the release on Monday of four border guards who were captured by Tajik troops during the standoff.

Tajikistan’s foreign ministry said on Monday that the key to resolving the conflict was dialogue, and reiterated its position that Kyrgyzstan had instigated the fighting.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sudak Emami told the briefing that ethnic Tajiks who were not Tajik citizens were being detained in Kyrgyzstan and that Kyrgyz drones had been seen flying over Tajik territory overnight.

Central Asian border issues stem largely from the Soviet era, when Moscow sought to divide the region between groups whose settlements were often located between other ethnic groups.

Emumi said there have been more than 230 border incidents between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan over the past 20 years, and the latest dispute centered on an area covering 2,000 square kilometers (772 square miles).

The former Soviet republics of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are both allies of Moscow and host Russian military bases. Russia has avoided becoming a party to the conflict and has urged the parties to resolve it peacefully.

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