UN chief appeals for calm in Kazakhstan

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged parties in Kazakhstan to avoid violence and seek dialogue in order to handle the difficult situation.

According to UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric, the world body continues to closely monitor the situation in Kazakhstan, and there have been several contacts between the UN and national authorities, including a call on Thursday morning between the secretary-special general's representative for Central Asia, Natalia Gherman, and Kazakhstan's Deputy Foreign Minister Akan Rakhmetullin.

"During these exchanges, Natalia Gherman on behalf of the secretary-general reaffirmed requests to exhibit moderation, refrain from violence, and urge dialogue to address the issue," Dujarric said. He said it's difficult for the UN to confirm reports of casualties.

"But one thing is certain: all demonstrations must be nonviolent. People have the right to air their complaints. It must be done in a calm manner. And security officers must safeguard that privilege by displaying and acting with restraint "he stated

In response to the arrival of troops from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) in Kazakhstan, Dujarric stated that the UN was informed of the force deployment on Thursday morning by the CSTO.

"I believe that the most important thing for us is that security personnel, whether Kazakh or non-Kazakh, respect the same human rights norms, which is to show restraint and defend people's rights to peacefully demonstrate," the spokesperson added. In Kazakhstan, the UN security measures cover up to 101 international personnel and 530 native workers. Dujarric stated that everyone is safe and sound.

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