Thursday, February 22, 2024

Iran warns against foreign meddling in Kazakhstan

Iran has warned against foreign interference in Kazakhstan where violent protests over a gas price hike has left a number of demonstrators and security forces dead.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says Tehran believes that the people and government of Kazakhstan are able to resolve their differences without foreign interference and in line with their national interests through dialogue and in a peaceful manner.

He also said foreign elements must not be allowed to take advantage of the situation in Kazakhstan.

The Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman underlined that the stability and security of Kazakhstan is important for Iran.

Meanwhile, a Kazakh police spokesperson says security forces have killed dozens of protesters in an attempt to prevent them from storming police buildings in the country’s main city Almaty.

The spokesperson described the crackdown on the demonstrators angry with a fuel price hike as “anti-terrorist operation”.

The Kazakh military was deployed in Almaty, the country’s largest city, after a day of violence on Wednesday, which saw mobs overrunning government buildings, including the old presidential residence and the mayor’s office.

The demonstrators also stormed the airport in Almaty but security forces regained control of it later.

Protests across Kazakhstan, including Almaty, capital Nur-Sultan, Aktobe and other cities, started after the New Year. They were sparked by a two-fold hike in gas prices after the government said it couldn’t afford to subsidize cheap fuel anymore.

This comes as Russia has deployed a contingent of peacekeepers to Kazakhstan as part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization involving Russia, Belarus, Armenia, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.


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