Russia joins CACO
RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol. 8, No. 198, Part I, 19 October 2004
The Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO) welcomed Russia as its fifth member state at a summit in Dushanbe on 18 October, Asia Plus-Blitz reported. CACO now consists of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan; the leaders of all member states attended the summit. Russian President Vladimir Putin commented, "As part of this organization, we hope, first of all, to develop our practical capabilities in fighting such threats as terrorism and regional extremism -- I mean religious extremism in our region -- in fighting illegal drug trafficking and other challenges," RFE/RL reported. Tajik President Imomali Rakhmonov said that Russia's membership "will increase the potential and the dynamics of our organization"; other Central Asian leaders expressed similar sentiments. Summit
participants also decided to give Afghanistan the status of an official observer within CACO, ITAR-TASS reported. DK
...Tajik President Rakhmonov described security as the summit's main issue, but it was not the only issue on the agenda. Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev outlined other summit decisions, saying, "Within three months the governments of CACO members will develop conceptual frameworks for signing agreements to create transportation-communications, produce, and water and power consortiums with the participation of the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank," Avesta reported. DK
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