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Kyrgyz president completes Cabinet formation

BISHKEK, February 8 (RIA Novosti) - Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev has appointed new foreign, economics, and energy ministers, his press service said Thursday.

The president has almost completed the formation of the Cabinet to replace the previous one, which resigned en bloc amid a November 2006 standoff with parliament and public rallies in the impoverished Central Asian state.

Bakiyev appointed Ednan Karabayev, deputy head of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic University, to the post of foreign minister. The university, in which he oversaw international relations, is patronized by the Kyrgyz government and Russia, which has considerable influence on the ex-Soviet state.

Karabayev was presidential chief of staff and foreign minister in the 1990s under Askar Akayev ousted in the 2005 "tulip revolution" led by the incumbent president and the ex-premier, opponents who brokered a power-sharing deal.

Sabyrbek Moldokulov, former state secretary of the Industry, Trade and Tourism Ministry, was appointed economic development and trade minister.

Igor Chudinov, general director of state gas distributor Kyrgaz, was placed in charge of the new Ministry of Industry, Energy and Fuel Resources.

The post of agriculture minister formerly occupied by Prime Minister Azim Isabekov went to Talant Uzakbayev, former chief of the state veterinary department.

Isabekov became premier in late January after parliament twice rejected the candidacy of acting Prime Minister Felix Kulov nominated by the president.

The bulk of the new Cabinet has remained unchanged. But Bakiyev has yet to appoint heads of eight out of 12 agencies that will report directly to the premier according to the new government setup approved by parliament.

The president is expected to hold his first meeting with the new Cabinet on Friday to set objectives facing the ministers.

Signaling his loyalty to the president, Isabekov said earlier that "the activities of the Cabinet should be far from politics and focus on economic and financial development."

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