Expatica news

Russia, China call for calm in Kyrgyzstan amid clashes

The presidents of China and Russia on Friday called for calm in Kyrgyzstan’s south after at least 17 people were killed in ethnic clashes in the Central Asian state.

“We sincerely hope that there will be a swift stabilisation of the situation in Kyrgyzstan,” Chinese President Hu Jintao said through a Russian interpreter.

“China and other neighbours will continue to offer Kyrgyzstan all possible help,” Hu told a summit of regional leaders in the Uzbek capital Tashkent.

President Dmitry Medvedev stressed Russia was also interested in a rapid return to order in the strategic ex-Soviet state, which hosts both a Russian military base and a US air base, vital to supplying US troops in Afghanistan.

“We sincerely hope that this phase of internal turmoil is overcome as soon as possible,” the Russian president said.

The Russian and Chinese leaders spoke at a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, after unrest in Kyrgyzstan left 17 dead and more than 200 injured.