White House urges calm in Kyrgyzstan

08:36, April 09, 2010      

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White House on Thursday urged that calm be restored to Kyrgyzstan and deplored the use of deadly force.

"The President (Barack Obama) has been closely following the events in Kyrgyzstan, and continues to monitor the situation with his National Security Team. We urge that calm be restored to Bishkek and other affected areas in a manner consistent with democratic principles and with respect for human rights," White House said in a press release.

"We deplore the use of deadly force by some of the security services against the demonstrations and by some demonstrators and continue to be concerned by ongoing looting and disorder," said the statement.

Earlier the day, the State Department confirmed a U.S. diplomat met Thursday with interim Kyrgyz leader Roza Otunbayeva.

"Our charge at the embassy in Bishkek also met today with opposition leader Roza Otunbayeva," said State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley, falling short of recognizing her as the country's leader.

"Our message in both cases was that we hoped that calm will be restored in a manner consistent with democratic principles," Crowley said.

Kyrgyz opposition parties on Thursday claimed to form an interim coalition government, while President Kurmanbek Bakiyev refused to step down after clashes that left at least 75 people dead and another 1,000 injured.

The interim government led by former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva would replace the government of Bakiyev, who fled the capital to southern Kyrgyzstan after a day of bloody unrest.



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