Ashgabat Hosted CIS Heads of States Council
Ashgabat hosted the CIS Heads of States Council, which adopted a number of agreements aimed at expanding interstate cooperation within the Commonwealth. Delegations from Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Tajikistan were led by their respective heads of states. Prime Ministers of Azerbaijan and Moldova headed their respective countries’ delegations, while Kyrgyzstan was represented by the Foreign Minister. The summit participants adopted the Joint Declaration on Cooperation Development, the Interstate program “Cultural Capitals of the Commonwealth,” and signed a number of agreements relating to integrating currency markets, partnership in security, and combating terrorism. President Berdymukhamedov informed the participants of the decision to transfer the CIS chairmanship to Belarus as of January 1, 2013. Belarus is to host the next CIS Heads of States Council.
Source: Turkmenistan.ru, ria.ru
Ashgabat CIS Summit Adopted Declaration on Cooperation
At the end of the CIS Heads of States Summit held in Ashgabat on December 5, participants adopted a Declaration on further cooperation within the Commonwealth. The document was drafted at the initiative of Turkmenistan, which chaired the CIS in 2012. The document states that “the establishment of the CIS was dictated by the objective necessity to maintain traditional humanitarian, economic and other ties at the moment of history when the new states appeared, which determined the authoritative role of the Commonwealth as a regional organization.” The Declaration goes on to state that, “We are prepared to continue promoting the significance of the Commonwealth in forming the system of regional and interregional relations, establishment of viable and effective mechanisms of cooperation in accordance with demands of current times.”
President of Turkmenistan held series of bilateral meetings with leaders of CIS countries
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov held a series of bilateral meetings with the leaders of the CIS countries who attended the CIS summit in Ashgabat to discuss regional and international issues of mutual interest and the development of cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including regional cooperation within the CIS. Turkmen President Berdymuhamedov held talks with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Artur Rasizade, Prime Minister of Moldova Vladimir Filat, and First Vice-Prime Minister of the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic Djoomart Otorbaev.
Turkmenistan to Continue Active Participation in Commonwealth Affairs – President
According to the Turkmen government, President Berdymukhamedov stated that as an associate member of the CIS, “neutral Turkmenistan will continue to take an active part in the affairs of the Commonwealth, to promote the progressive development of mutually beneficial partnership that meets the interests of the general welfare and prosperity."
Russian President Putin Took Part in CIS Heads of States Summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin took part in the CIS Heads of States Summit, held in Ashgabat on December 5 in which CIS heads of state discussed regional cooperation, the development of a joint air defence system, and the establishment of a financial intelligence council. However, it was impossible to cover Putin’s visit to Turkmenistan thoroughly, reported TV channel Life News. At the venue of the Summit, local security services took away all mobile phones from the Moscow correspondents and suggested that they use landline phones. There were only four land-line phones available for of all the journalists in the press-center. Russian journalists were also very surprised to find that Facebook, LiveJournal, and other social networks are blocked in Turkmenistan. Moreover, the official web-site of the President of Russia, www.kremlin.ru, was also blocked. Turkmenistan’s system administrators working at the Summit said that they could not do anything and that the site was probably blocked by Turkmen security services. Dmitri Peskov, the press-secretary for the Russian President, said in the interview with Life News that the reasons for blocking were not provided. He stressed that while this issue will not be raised during the summit, it will definitely be sorted out later.
Atambaev’s Demarche – Wrong Time, Wrong Place: Political Analyst
The demonstrative decision of Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambaev not to participate in the CIS Heads of States Summit will have serious consequences for Kyrgyzstan, and in particular its chances to join the CIS Customs Union. It was the wrong time and place for such a demarche, said Belarusian political analyst Yurii Baranchik on December 5 in an interview with Regnum news agency. Atambaev’s decision not to participate in the Summit received much attention in the media in the CIS, who say that the Kyrgyz leader refused to come to Ashgabat because of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenka, who refuses to extradite to Kyrgyzstan the country’s former president, Kurmanbek Bakiev, and his younger brother Zhanybek Bakiev, who are hiding in Belarus. The two brothers are accused of conducting a massacre on November 7, 2010, when police and special forces fought the opposition.
Berdymukhamedov: CIS Offers Favorable Conditions for North – South and East – West Transport Corridors: Berdymukhamedov
In 2012, CIS countries continued a dialogue about energy issues, said President Berdymukhamedov on December 5, in Ashgabat, during the CIS Heads of States Summit. Berdymukhamedov said that the development of the CIS transport and communication infrastructure should be regarded as a priority and stressed that the CIS has the most favorable conditions for creating international transport North/South and East/West corridors. It is important to form new automobile, railway, air and marine transport networks, and create new ones, Berdymukhamedov said.
Uzbekistan to Host Next Meeting of CIS Foreign Ministers
At the invitation of Uzbekistan, Tashkent will host the next meeting of CIS Foreign Ministers, according to the CIS Executive Committee Chairman, Sergei Lebedev.
Eurasianet: Turkmenistan Big Beneficiary Of Pentagon Money, While Uzbekistan Lags
The U.S. spent about $1.3 billion in Central Asia on supplies for its troops in Afghanistan over the most recent fiscal year, including $820 million in Turkmenistan alone. The $1.3 billion represents a sevenfold increase from the previous year, according to figures provided to The Bug Pit by the Defense Logistics Agency, the Pentagon agency in charge of supplying forces. The totals for fiscal year 2012, broken down by country, were: Kazakhstan: $137.3 million, Kyrgyzstan: $218.1 million, Tajikistan: $11.7 million, Turkmenistan: $820.5 million, Uzbekistan: $105.9 million.
DLA was unable to provide any detailed numbers about what was bought in each country, but that eye-popping $820 million in Turkmenistan was certainly almost entirely fuel. In general, the money went to "bottled water, sodas, juices, pasta, bakery items, lumber, plywood, cement, concertina wire, generators, rebar, fuel drums, corrugated steel, galvanized steel coils, and feeder cable. We also support the region by purchasing fuel and paying associated transportation costs," the DLA said in a statement. The goal for the upcoming fiscal year is slightly more than this year, $1.31 billion.
Central Asia still ranks among the least economically integrated regions in the world - IMF
Twenty years after their independence from the Soviet Union, the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan still haven’t fully realized their potential for regional economic integration, Juha Kähkönen, deputy director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was quoted as saying by Silk Road Newsline. “If one looks at trade among these countries, it is minuscule and has been for a long time. Actually, the region is among the least integrated in the world and it’s clear that large outside countries have a big influence,” Kähkönen told a panel on the economies of Central Asian Countries and Afghanistan at the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute (CACI) in Washington this week.
Kazakh Policemen Sentenced to 7 Years of Imprisonment in Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s court sentenced seven citizens of Kazakhstan detained for illegally crossing the border between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan in October of 2012, to seven years of imprisonment, which they will serve in a high security prison, reported web-site Tengrinews.kz, citing a sister of one of the accused, who called the trial “strict and quick.”
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan official did not comment on this situation. On October 19, the seven citizens of Kazakhstan, including four representatives of Kazakhstan’s Interior Ministry and Migration Services, as well as three hunters, crossed Turkmenistan’s borders bearing arms, and were detained by Turkmenistan’s border guards. Kazakhstan’s Mangistausk region Interior Department explained that the policemen were lost and crossed the border accidentally.
Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Among Most Corrupt Countries in the World
On December 5, Transparency International published its annual Corruption Perception Index. According to the latest index, Denmark was ranked highest as least corrupt country, followed by Finland, New Zealand, Sweden, and Singapore. Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia were at the bottom of the list -- as the most corrupt countries in the world.
Source: Transparency International, transparency.org
Japanese delegation holds talks at Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan
A Japanese delegation headed by Ambassador of Japan to Turkmenistan, Tikahito Harada, held talks at Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry to discuss Turkmen-Japanese cooperation in energy, trade and transport, innovative technologies, medicine, finance and banking, and culture.
Ashgabat to host international conference “Neutrality and Preventive Diplomacy: Foundation for Peace and Security"
On December 11, Ashgabat will host an international conference entitled “Neutrality and Preventive Diplomacy: Foundation for Peace and Security” dedicated to the fifth anniversary of the opening of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat. On December 10, President Berdymukhamedov received UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, who arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the conference. the Turkmen government reported. The parties discussed partnership in global security and sustainable development between Turkmenistan and the UN.
Source: Turkmenistan.ru, Turkmenistan.ru, trend.az
Turkmenistan, UN discuss issues of global security
President Berdymukhamedov received UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman on December 10, the Turkmen government reported. The parties discussed partnership in global security and sustainable development between Turkmenistan and the UN. The UN envoy arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the international conference "Turkmenistan's neutrality and preventive diplomacy: the foundations of peace and security," which opened in Ashgabat on December 11.