Kyrgyz leader warns of new unrest, wins Russian backing

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Kyrgyzstan's newly inaugurated President Roza Otunbayeva on Monday warned her country still risked being hit by new unrest as she won the clearest Russian backing yet for her government.

"At the moment the situation is relatively calm but we are ready for more clashes," Otunbayeva told Russian President Dmitry Medvedev at a meeting on the sidelines of a regional summit in Kazakhstan.

"To say that everything has stopped and we can finally move onto rebuilding is not correct for the moment," she said, quoted by Russian news agencies.

Otunbayeva was sworn in as conflict-torn Kyrgyzstan's president on Saturday, less than a month after ethnic clashes in its south which officials have said may have claimed up to 2,000 lives.

Medvedev, whose country has at times been wary of giving the Kyrgyz authorities full support after the uprising that ousted former president Kurmanbek Bakiyev in April, said Otunbayeva could count on Moscow's backing.

"I expect that under your leadership, Kyrgyzstan can achieve success and overcome the period of difficulty," he said

"In this respect you can always rely on the position of the Russian people and the Russian state," he added.

© 2010 AFP

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