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Kyrgyz President Cancels U.N. Trip Due to Chest Pains | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) and Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev talk during their meeting in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, July 14, 2016, Reuters

Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev announced cancelling a trip to the U.N. General Assembly in New York on Monday for medical reasons.

The Atambayev’s cancellation came after suffering chest pains during the first leg of his flight, his office reported.

“According to doctors’ preliminary conclusion, the head of state has displayed symptoms of heart problems,” it said in a statement, adding that he was in Turkey. Atambayev turned 60 last week.

“Because of this, President Atambayev will undergo a medical examination and will be under the supervision of doctors for some time,” it said.

Atambayev, who has run the formerly Soviet Central Asian republic since 2011, had previously displayed no obvious signs of poor health.

The majority Muslim nation of six million has been on the brink of collapse for over a decade. Violent protests in 2005 and 2010 toppled two successive presidents.

Atambayev pledged to step down when his term ends in December 2017 and not seek re-election.

Kyrgyzstan, which hosts a Russian air base, has cultivated close relations with Moscow under Atambayev, whose Social Democratic party is also the leading partner in the ruling parliamentary coalition.

Under the Kyrgyz constitution, a president who is unfit to perform his duties may be relieved of the post by parliament, whose speaker becomes acting president.

Kyrgyzstan’s neighbor Uzbekistan, the region’s most populous nation of 32 million, is in the middle of a transition of power after Islam Karimov, its ruler for 27 years, died this month at the age of 78.