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GA President Meets With Snr Turkmenistan Officials

General Assembly President holds meetings with senior officials in Turkmenistan

21 April 2008 - The growing food crisis around the world, the situation in Afghanistan, counter-terrorism efforts, preventive diplomacy and regional cooperation were on the agenda today during talks between General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim and the leaders of Turkmenistan.

Mr. Kerim began his official visit to Central Asia today by holding meetings in Ashgabat, the Turkmen capital, with President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov and Parliament Chairperson Akja Nurberdjeva.

One of the key themes was food security as a growing number of countries worldwide experience public protests and riots over the surging cost of basics such as rice, wheat and corn.

Janos Tisovszky, a spokesperson for Mr. Kerim, told reporters today that the Assembly President has been closely watching developments in the food crisis and has voiced concern about their economic, social, political and security impact.

Mr. Tisovszky said the Ashgabat meetings also focused on Turkmenistan's cooperation with the UN and its contribution to the current priority issues of the 192-member Assembly, such as climate change, UN reform and efforts to accelerate progress towards the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Tomorrow Mr. Kerim is scheduled to visit the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia and to meet with the UN Country Team in Turkmenistan, before he heads to neighbouring Kazakhstan later in the week.

ENDS

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