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Kyrgyzstan protests over Kazakh minister's toilet cleaning comment
Kyrgyzstan's foreign ministry has summoned a Kazakh diplomat for talks after Kazakhstan's culture and sports minister said he felt sorry for Kyrgyz migrant labourers having to clean public toilets in Russia, reports Reuters.
The Kyrgyz foreign ministry said in a statement last week that Arystanbek Mukhamediuly's comments were insulting and "had provoked negative reaction from the Kyrgyz public and were not in line with the allied spirit of Kyrgyz-Kazakh relations."
Reuters notes that Kazakhstan is far wealthier than its neighbour - thanks to its vast natural resources, but that Kyrgyz rivers are the source of much of its water - a major cause of long-running tensions between the two former Soviet states.
The incident occurred when the Minister, speaking about Kyrgyzstan in a public meeting last week, said he felt "very sorry" that "young girls - our neighbours, are cleaning public toilets" in Moscow and other Russian cities due to a lack of jobs at home.
2nd June 2016