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Ethnic unity 'Xinjiang priority'

SAFEGUARDING ethnic unity damaged by the July 5 riot in Urumqi, capital of the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, was a fundamental task for the government, officials said yesterday.

The riot, which killed at least 197 people, had led to alienation among ethnic groups, said Nur Berkri, chairman of the Xinjiang regional government.

Governments at all levels must promote education on national unity and laws, especially among the younger generation, farmers and herdsmen, migrant populations and religious groups in Xinjiang, he said.

Nur Berkri said officials should better understand what the public needed, especially those in poverty. More attention should be paid to providing psychological assistance to the victims and encouraging them to rebuild their homes.

He made the remarks at the 12th meeting of the 11th Standing Committee of the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress which ended in Urumqi yesterday.

The meeting passed a resolution on cracking down on violent crimes and safeguarding ethnic unity.

The resolution said the riot was masterminded by separatist, terrorist and extremist forces led by Rebiya Kadeer and was aimed at destroying stability and splitting the nation.

Eligen Imibakhi, chairman of the standing committee of the Xinjiang Regional People's Congress, also called for continued efforts to clear the divide among ethnic groups.


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