CACO Meeting of 27 August 2004
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 165, Part I, 30 August 2004
CENTRAL ASIAN COOPERATION ORGANIZATION RATIFIES RUSSIAN MEMBERSHIP...
Kazakh Foreign Minister Qasymzhomart Toqaev announced on 28 August that the council of foreign ministers of member states in the Central Asian Cooperation Organization ratified Russia's accession to the organization during a 27 August meeting in Astana, Interfax-Kazakhstan reported. Toqaev said that the main topics at the meeting were the inclusion of Afghanistan in regional integration processes, the creation of an international hydropower consortium within the organization, shared television and radio broadcasts, and the removal of trade barriers between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, "Kazakhstan Today" reported. Toqaev also stated on 28 August that the OSCE needs to pay more attention on issues of trade and security, and avoid an excessive focus on humanitarian concerns. His remarks echoed a Russian-initiated statement on 3 July by a number of CIS states (see End Note, "RFE/RL Newsline," 4 July 2004). Russia's Foreign Ministry said on 28 August that it is satisfied with the results of the Central Asian Cooperation Organization's 27 August meeting, RIA-Novosti reported. Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan founded the Central Asian Cooperation Organization in February 2002. The leaders of the member states will gather for a summit in Dushanbe in October. DK
...AND HOLDS 'CENTRAL ASIA-PLUS-JAPAN' MEETING. The foreign ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan met on 28 August in Astana with Japanese Foreign Minister Yokiro Kawaguchi, Kazinform reported. The meeting ended with a joint declaration and a vow to hold further "Central Asia-plus-Japan" meetings. The declaration stressed the need to broaden cooperation in a variety of areas, including the economy, energy resources, the environment, and exchange programs, "Kazakhstan Today" reported. On the latter count, Japan will accept 1,000 students from Central Asia over the next three years. Japan will also organize training for Central Asian specialists on energy supplies, the environment, and water resources. At a separate meeting with Kazakh Foreign Minister Toqaev on 27 August, Kawaguchi said that Japan is prepared to help Kazakhstan in its bid for WTO membership, Kazinform reported. DK
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