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Reid starts trip, visits Kyrgyzstan

WASHINGTON — Sen. Harry Reid disclosed Tuesday that he was in Kyrgyzstan, on a Senate-organized trip to central Asia and Europe focused on terrorism and climate change.

The Nevada Democrat and four other senators met Tuesday with President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, their first public event for the group, which departed Sunday from Washington.

Reid, accompanied by his wife, had lunch with five Nevada soldiers stationed at the Manas Coalition Air Base, near the Kyrgyzstan capital of Bishkek. The base serves as a staging area for troops preparing to serve in Afghanistan.

Reid said in a statement the trip is focusing on “progress on terrorism, global climate change, development and democracy.”

“While many Americans may have never heard of Kyrgyzstan, as an important developing democracy in Central Asia, ensuring its success is vital, especially given its proximity to Afghanistan and the role this country plays in our fight against terror.”

Reid spokesman Blair Hinderliter said that the senators would be gone for eight days and that Kazakhstan and Germany are on the schedule.

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