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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan has sent a note to the OSCE in response to a multi-page report of this organization's representative regarding some aspects of the investigation into the attempt on President Niyazov's life and failed coup d'etat on November 25 last year.

This document, a peculiar "reply to Chamberlain", offers few excuses. On the contrary, some fragments of the document lay serious pretensions to the OSCE that was designed to act as a guarantor of security and cooperation in the vast region, which includes both Europe and some post-Soviet states, some Asian states being among them.

It is interesting that the report of OSCE and Turkmenistan Foreign Ministry's response are based on completely different approaches. The OSCE points mainly, as the author of the report claims, to the breach of law during the conduct of investigation into the assassination attempt, while Foreign Ministry analyses some international policy circumstances related to planning and unsuccessful staging of the coup that in opinion of Ashgabat was followed by terror act of international nature.

While public at large was already informed about accusations of the OSCE through generous coverage of the events by European press, the position of Ashgabat was for the first time presented to the world community in the form of solid document.

The point is that Turkmenistan regards the so-called "Moscow's mechanism" triggered by OSCE as an attempt by "the number of the OSCE member-states" to put a pressure on it. In opinion of the official Ashgabat it was proved by "hasty one-sided appointment of the rapporteur" and "abuse by initiators of this procedure of the main requirement of the Moscow's Document on Human Dimension of OSCE dated 1991 expressed in paragraph 17".

This paragraph says that OSCE member-states "unconditionally condemn the forces striving to seize power from the representative government in any of the member-states against the will of people, expressed during free and fair elections, and in contravention of the legally established constitutional order".

It is also underlined that "in case of overthrowing or an attempt to overthrow democratically elected legal government of any member-state by undemocratic means" OSCE member-states "will, in accordance with the UN Charter, strongly support legal bodies of this state, which guard human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and accept its common obligations to counter any attempt to limit these values".

Ashgabat reminded that after November 25 events the Turkmen side had immediately turned to foreign states and international organizations for help in the investigation of this crime and apprehension of the criminals. Further requests of such a kind to foreign states and in the first place to European states were repeatedly made. "Unfortunately, such kind of help was not given, though Turkmenistan has permanently proved in practice its readiness and will to cooperate with the OSCE member-states and other states in the field of countering crime and terrorism" - the Foreign Ministry note said.

The MFA also recalled: "Turkmenistan was the first to initiate extradition procedure of foreign mercenaries to the states of their residence. In view of this a perplexity was expressed at some of the member-states stand, who in response to repeated addresses from the Turkmen side, "resorted to destructiveness and contributed to politicizing the terrorist's actions who committed heavy crimes against the state and its widely respected leader".
As regards the OSCE report Ashgabat considers the report of Prof. Decaux "hastily compiled of already prepared points which do not stand any critics and are very biased".
"Those one-sided conclusions and recommendations containing in the report do not differ from but rather echoes fabrications of the "yellow press" that could not be accepted as a reliable source of objective information - MFA note continues. In view of this the Turkmen side is perturbed by subjective and tendentious coverage of the situation in Turkmenistan by the rapporteur of OSCE. Moreover, the fact that OSCE adopted soft attitude towards some European member-states where highly dangerous criminals took a refuge and moving freely and whom Turkmenistan officially put on the wanted list is raising perplexity".
According to the document Ashgabat is also displeased with the fact that initiators of the "Moscow's mechanism" did not take steps in response to the address of Turkmenistan on "cooperation and rendering assistance in the search of the criminals who committed the terror act".

The Turkmen side believes that the elements of double standards in such important matter as fighting terrorism are not acceptable.

In its pretensions to the OSCE the MFA of Turkmenistan refers to the adopted by the UN Security Council Declaration on the fight against terrorism of January 19, 2003. In this document the UN Security Council called upon all states to "help each other to a maximum degree in prevention, investigation, apprehension and punishment of the acts of terrorism anywhere". In addition the UN Security Council called upon all states to "bring to justice those financing, planning, supporting and carrying out or providing cover for it in accordance with the norms of international law and, in particular, on the basis of extradition principle or legal prosecution in the territory of those states".

In the opinion of Ashgabat these recommendations were totally ignored by some states as regards the events of November 25. At the same time as Foreign Ministry claims a practice of double standards is applied towards Turkmenistan, its worthiness of equal partner is not trusted.

The fact that the members of criminal community have targeted as their first priority the life of the President of Turkmenistan and the forceful overthrow of power in Turkmenistan, changing its constitutional order as their second one is fully testified by the convicted men themselves and confrontations as well", - the document says.

Having reciprocated their "thrusts" the OSCE headquarters and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan agreed, in our view, on the most important thing that cooperation of the first and only neutral state in Asia with this highly respectable international organization must continue. It is important that nobody doubts that this partnership is in the interests of both sides. And in order to set up a constructive base for it both sides street movement is needed. Each one has to make its half of the street.

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By Charygeldi Amanov

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