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Romania Offers to Temporarily Accept Uzbek Refugees

Kyrgyzstan is resisting calls from the U.N. and the United States to release 29 of the more than 450 Uzbeks who fled the violent suppression of an uprising in neighboring Andijan in May.

Uzbekistan says all who fled the clashes are criminals and should be repatriated. Kyrgyzstan has decided to let the United Nations refugee agency transfer more than 400 for resettlement to a third country in order to avoid Uzbek pressure. But it says the fate of 15 of them will be decided later because the Uzbek government wants them sent back. It says they are criminals who escaped from jail during the May events.

Earlier Thursday, Romania offered to provide temporary shelter for the refugees being transferred to an unnamed third country. The move was welcomed by Washington.

Some information for this report provided by AFP and Reuter.