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Kazakhstan's Soviet-Afghan war veterans ask Obama to recall ambassador

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Representatives of Kazakhstan veteran organizations at the building of the U.S. General Consulate. Photo by tengrinewsRepresentatives of Kazakhstan veteran organizations at the building of the U.S. General Consulate. Photo by tengrinews

The Soviet-Afghan war veterans in Kazakhstan visited the U.S. General Consulate in Almaty to pass a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama with the suggestion to withdraw the ambassador from Kazakhstan, reports.

The veterans believe that the U.S. diplomatic mission is not fulfilling its duties in Kazakhstan as it incites discord between citizens of the U.S. and Kazakhstan. They also plan to send letters to Almaty administration and the prosecutor’s office, as well as to Kazakh Foreign Ministry to find out whether the checkpoint installed by the U.S. Embassy that blocks access to the House of Army in Almaty is legal. “Just imagine what would happen if a checkpoint like this was installed in the middle of New York and Kazakhstan security personnel would start checking U.S. citizens?” one of the veterans said.

The veterans are outraged with the installation of the checkpoint that blocked the only road that leads to the two buildings 2 months ago. One of them (the House of Army) hosts veteran organizations and the other one has offices of the U.S. General Consulate and USAID mission. “Our disabled veterans standing on the land they fought for now have to faces such humiliations. Guards in American uniform bar their way check them. Americans now set their own rules making the veterans get out of their cars, open their trunks and hoods,” chairman of Almaty Coordination Council of Afghanistan War Veteran Organizations Murat Abdushkurov said.

The veterans passed a letter to a representative of the General Consulate on July 23, 2013, but have not received any response.

Kazakhstan Foreign Ministry and the Department for Diplomatic Corps Affairs earlier advised the American mission to apply for a permit for the checkpoint to Medeu Regional Administration of Almaty.

Medeu Regional Administration that is in charge of the area where Embassy and its checkpoint are located administration said that the checkpoint was installed without any coordination with the local authorities.

Representatives of the organization that manages the House of Army and Kazakhstan GIS Center believe that the checkpoint and the checks done by the American organizations’ personnel obstruct the activities of the House of Army.

The U.S. Embassy insists that the checkpoint was installed legally and in compliance with all the rules. According to the Embassy, the checkpoint serves to enhance security not only of the American Embassy personnel, but also of Kazakhstan citizens.

September 4 2013, 14:32

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