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Albright To Hold Talks in Ukraine

April 5, 2000

WASHINGTON (AP) _ Hoping to encourage economic reform, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright will hold talks in Kiev with Ukrainian leaders April 20-21 on the way home from a trip to Central Asia.

It will be her second visit to Ukraine. The first was in March 1998.

Spokesman James P. Rubin said Albright would affirm strong U.S. support for Ukraine’s ambitious reform agenda.

Albright already was scheduled to travel to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan April 14-20 on her first visit to the region in more than three years in office.

The region is the target of foreign developers, including American corporations, trying to get a head start on reserves of natural gas and other energy supplies.

On Wednesday, the State Department condemned as ``incomprehensible″ the detention in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, of Daniyar Usenov, a leader of the People’s Party.

Rubin said the person who brought assault charges against Usenov had withdrawn them but the government still was going ahead with the prosecution.

Also, the statement called for the release of another prominent opposition leader, Feliks Kulov of the Ar Namys party.

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