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Belarusian leader ready to receive ousted Kyrgyz president

2010-04-19 11:04 BJT

Special Report: Unrest in Kyrgyzstan |

MOSCOW, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said Sunday that ousted Kyrgyz president Kurmanbek Bakiyev was welcome to his country, Russian news agencies reported.

"If he wants to come -- today, tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow - we are ready to receive him here in Belarus," he said.

Earlier, the Interfax news agency said Bakiyev, who fled Krgyzstan and landed in neighboring Kazakhstan by plane, had already left the southern Kazakh city of Taraza for Belarusian capital of Minsk.

However, Lukashenko said Bakiyev remained in southern Kazakhstan with his five-year-old son, daughter and wife.

"If the president of Kyrgyzstan and his family need support and assistance at this difficult time, they will get it in Belarus," he said.

The Belarusian leader also denied that Bakiyev had resigned, saying the letter of resignation bearing Bakiyev's signature, which was shown in media now, was not trustworthy.

One of Bakiyev's brother Ahmad also said previously that the faxed letter was a fake, but later Friday the Kyrgyz interim government officials claimed they had received the handwritten, original version of the letter.

Bakiyev fled to southern Kyrgyzstan last week after thousands of protesters supportive of the opposition clashed with security forces throughout the country, driving out local governments and seizing government headquarters in Bishkek.

The opposition has formed an interim government led by former Foreign Minister Roza Otunbayeva.

Bakiyev and some of his relatives were charged for inducing the unrest.

Late Thursday Bakiyev departed his country under the mediation of the United States, Russia and Kazakhstan. According to Russian news agencies, Kazakhstan officials now claimed they had no idea of the whereabouts of the deposed president.