Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 136

The eldest son of Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev and the youngest daughter of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev became engaged yesterday in Kazakhstan’s city of Almaty. They enacted a traditional Central Asian engagement ritual and will be married in a few days’ time in Kyrgyzstan.

The selection of venues for the public ceremonies in Almaty conveyed a complex and carefully balanced political message. The fiancees paid homage at the National Independence Monument, the monument to the Kazakh akyn (folk bard) Abai and the monument to Kazakh veterans of the Red Army in World War II. And they chose the Turkish-built Ankara hotel for the engagement banquet. Aidar Akaev and Alia Nazarbaeva are both students in the United States: He at the University of Maryland, she at George Washington University in Washington, DC. (Russian agencies, July 15)–VS

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