In Turkmenistan, OSCE PA special representative builds parliamentary dialogue

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s Special Representative on Central Asia, Austrian parliamentarian Roman Haider, is in Turkmenistan this week, where he has attended the OSCE Regional Meeting of Heads of OSCE Field Operations in Central Asia and a conference at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the opening of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat. He has also met with Turkmen officials and members of the international community.

In discussions, Special Representative Haider has stressed the importance of socio-economic and democratic development and welcomed the participation of Turkmenistan in the activities of the OSCE PA.

In a meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev, the sides discussed the improved co-operation between Turkmenistan and the OSCE PA since Turkmenistan resumed regularly participating in the PA’s statutory meetings in 2014. This renewed participation reflects the heightened level of international co-operation between the parliament and international organizations, Hajiyev said.

The discussions explored prospects for further engagement of Turkmenistan in the activities of the OSCE PA, including in the field of election observation. Other topics included regional security and promoting stability in Afghanistan, common security challenges such as trafficking in narcotics, weapons and human beings, as well as countering terrorism.

“On so many issues, it is evident that challenges facing Turkmenistan and Central Asia are core concerns for the wider OSCE region,” said Haider. “It is in all of our interests to deepen our engagement in this region and I therefore welcome the increased participation in recent years of Turkmenistan in the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly.”

In a meeting with Deputy Chairperson of the Mejlis (Parliament) of Turkmenistan Kasymguly Babayev and a number of members of Turkmenistan’s delegation to the OSCE PA, the sides discussed enhancing Turkmenistan’s inter-parliamentary relations as well as action plans to address gender equality, combating trafficking in human beings, and human rights.

Haider also had exchanges with the EU Special Representative for Central Asia Ambassador Peter Burian, the Special Representative of the UN SG for Central Asia and Head of UNRCCA Natalia Gherman, and the Head of the EU Liaison Office in Turkmenistan, Chargé d’Affaires Lubomir Frebort.

On April 17, he participated in the Joint Session of OSCE Heads of Field Operations and EU Heads of Delegation in Ashgabat. Topics of discussion included co-operation with OSCE Institutions and the Parliamentary Assembly, including on the human dimension.

The conference marking the 20th anniversary of the OSCE Centre on April 16 was attended by representatives of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ombudsman of Turkmenistan, the Rector of the International University of Humanitarian Sciences and Development, and representatives from the international community.

Sergey Kwan

TCA