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Disputed US checkpoint in Almaty removed

18 october 2013, 14:53
Checkpoint at the entrance of the House of Army in Almaty. ©Alisher Akhmetov
Checkpoint at the entrance of the House of Army in Almaty. ©Alisher Akhmetov
Local authorities of Almaty have removed the disputed checkpoint that was earlier installed by the Embassy of the United States near the House of Army, Tengrinews reports citing the Almaty Prosecutor's Office website reports.

Kazakhstan war veterans were outraged with the installation of the checkpoint that blocks the only road leading to two buildings. One of them (the House of Army) hosts veteran organizations and the other one has offices of the U.S. General Consulate and the USAID mission.

The veterans arranges several protests and addressed a letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Kazakhstan calling installation of the checkpoint an instigation of discord between the Kazakhstan and American nations.

“Our disabled veterans standing on the land they fought for now have to faces such humiliations. Guards in American uniform bar their way and search 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.

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

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.

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 case, caused a wide public resonance and was discussed at the Foreign Ministry of Kazakhstan with the U.S. temporary charge d’affaires in Kazakhstan Michael Klechesky.

The Foreign Ministry called the U.S. Mission to resolve the solution as soon as possible as it involves interests of a large number of people, including the local authorities, veterans and the U.S. Consulate General in Almaty.

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