Kyrgyz President takes ill in Turkey, cancels New York trip to UN
ISTANBULKyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev took ill due to “potential problems” in Istanbul on Sept. 19 while en route to New York, where he was due to attend the United Nations General Assembly session, triggering the cancellation of his trip.
The 60-year-old Kyrgyz leader suffered chest pains during the first leg of his flight from Bishkek to New York at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport, his office said in a statement issued on the Kyrgyzstan Presidency’s website.
After preliminary examinations at the airport, doctors urged him to undergo an in-depth examination, it added.
“According to the preliminary conclusions by the doctors, the head of state was found to have symptoms of heart problems,” the statement said.
It added that Atambayev would remain under medical supervision for “some time.”
In a separate statement, Atambayev’s office also announced that his short leave from his post may last until Oct. 1 due to his need for medical screening.
In his absence, Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev will lead the Kyrgyz delegation and participate in the 71st session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, Atambayev’s spokesman said he was staying at a hotel in Istanbul and had no plans to move to a hospital, Reuters reported.
In addition, Atambayev’s chief of staff, Farid Niyazov, also told Reuters that he had spoken to the president by telephone earlier on Sept. 20 and described his condition as “satisfactory.” He said he will receive full treatment in Turkey.
Atambayev had celebrated his 60th birthday on Sept. 17 in a ceremony attended by the leaders of the member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
The Kyrgyz leader’s health problems came less than a month after Uzbek President Islam Karimov died from a stroke at the age of 78.