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President Nazarbaev addresses media forum

Nursultan Nazarbaev told participants in the Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty on 21 April that freedom of speech and the media are an "integral part" of Kazakhstan's progress toward democracy and an open society, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported. The president called free media a "supreme value," but warned that the media should not serve as a weapon in "information wars," "Kazakhstan Today" reported.

Turning to recent events in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, Nazarbaev commented: "As clear-headed people, we understand the deeper reasons for these events. These reasons lie not in some mythical plots by outside forces, but are the result of the logic of internal development. Poverty and unemployment...are fertile ground for people's dissatisfaction with the authorities."

(RFE/RL 22.iv.05)

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