In a major about-turn, the President of Kyrgystan Kurmanbek Bakiyev says he is ready to resign if the interim government that ousted him guarantees his safety.
Bakiyev fled to his home region of Jalalabad after troops fired on protestors in the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek, in an uprising which brought the opposition to power.
Officials from the self-declared interim government have urged the deposed president to give himself up:
“We have begun a criminal case against the former president. If he does not show up after today’s rally, there will be a special services operation to detain him.” said one official.
The standoff has raised fears that the former soviet central Asian state state faces a prolonged political crisis.
Bishkek is a city in mourning, as people gather to pay tribute to the dozens of people killed during an opposition uprising last week.
Bakiyev has denied ordering the police to shoot into the crowds of protestors, who had gathered to demand his resignation