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Iran urges dialog, peaceful settlement of issues in unrest-hit Kazakhstan


Riot police officers patrol in a street as unprecedented protests over a hike in energy prices spun out of control in Almaty on January 5, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Iran says it is closely and precisely monitoring the ongoing developments in Kazakhstan, which has been rocked by violent protests in recent days, stressing that the neighborly state can resolve the issues at home peacefully and through dialog.

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Thursday that Iran attached importance to the stability and security of Kazakhstan.

"We believe that the wise government and nation of the friendly, brotherly and neighborly country can resolve their problems and disputes peacefully and through dialog, without foreign interference and based on their own national interests," he said.

He also cautioned Kazakhstan against attempts by foreign parties to exploit the unrest and meddle in the countryís affairs.

The Iranian spokesperson expressed hope that peace would be restored to the protest-hit country as soon as possible.

Kazakhstan has been the scene of protests since Sunday after the government lifted its price cap on LPG, which many people use to fuel their cars.

The ongoing unrest over an energy price hike is far from over, even after protests resulted in the resignation of the government. A state of emergency has also been declared in the countryís largest city, Almaty, where the protesters have set fire to the mayorís office and stormed other political offices. Similar protests are also taking place in other provinces.

The turmoil has left at least 12 security forces dead and 353 others injured during the past days, according to media reports. Kazakhstanís Khabar 24 news channel reported the toll as of mid-Thursday, saying that the body of one of the dead security officers had been found with its head cut off.

In a televised address to the nation on Wednesday, Kazakhstanís President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said he would act as tough as possible on those who broke the law by staging "massive attacks" on security forces during the ongoing protests.

Tokayev assured Kazakhs that he has no plans to step down after he sacked his cabinet earlier in the day. "As president, I am obliged to protect the safety and peace of our citizens, to worry about the integrity of Kazakhstan," the president said.

He slammed the protesters involved in Almaty violence as terrorist gangs, "which are, in essence, international."

The gangs, he said, went through training abroad and their attacks should be considered as an act of aggression on the country.

Dozens of rioters have also been killed in clashes with security forces in Almaty, police said on Thursday.

 

LINK: https://www.ansarpress.com/english/25762


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