A regular expert group meeting was held in Minsk to discuss a draft agreement on Turkmenistan's associated membership in CIS.
In an interview with BELTA's correspondent, permanent representative of Turkmenistan to main and other bodies of CIS, Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Turkmenistan to the Republic of Belarus, Ilya Veldjanov, stressed that his country was one of the active advocates of CIS establishment. However, in 1993, Turkmenistan did not sign the CIS Charter owing to its neutral status. On account of this, according to international documents, Turkmenistan can not be considered a full-fledged member of CIS, he noted.
"We kept participating in all CIS activities. However, we have been often criticized for not signing many documents adopted by CIS. In this regard, we proposed to make an agreement on Turkmenistan's CIS associate member status", Veldjanov said.
According to the interviewee, a decision on the principles of participation by neutral Turkmenistan in CIS was taken at a meeting of CIS heads of state held in Kazan last August. A draft agreement was prepared on the basis of this decision. The first expert group meeting on this draft took place on January 18, 2006.
Ilya Veljanov said that according to the draft agreement Turkmenistan would be able to participate in some CIS meetings as an associate member. The document also provides for Turkmenistan's advisory vote in all CIS bodies, except permanent working bodies for military cooperation and associations in the law enforcing sphere created within the framework of CIS that Turkmenistan will not attend at all.
Besides, on the consent of CIS member-states, Turkmenistan will have the right to sign documents on certain issues of interest.
"Turkmenistan will finance only those programmes and bodies of CIS that are directly involved in the mechanism of implementation of documents that it signed", Ilya Veldjanov said.
It is expected that the agreement will have no time limits.
The work on the draft agreement on Turkmenistan's CIS associate member status will be continued at the next meeting of CIS experts in August this year, Ilya Veldjanov said.
It is worth recalling that on December 12, 1995, UN General Assembly passed the resolution "Permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan", declaring Turkmenistan a neutral state.
(Based on the reports of information agencies)