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Cablegate: Osce Permanent Council: Response to Hom

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OO RUEHWEB

DE RUEHC #1692 2452150
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 022132Z SEP 09
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE IMMEDIATE 3228
INFO RUEHAH/AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT 1470

UNCLAS STATE 091692

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV OSCE KPAO PHUM PREL TZ
SUBJECT: OSCE PERMANENT COUNCIL: RESPONSE TO HOM
AMBASSADOR ZEKOLLI, OSCE CENTER ASHGABAT

1. (U) Post is authorized to present the following statement
at the September 3 Permanent Council meeting in Vienna.

Begin text:

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.

The United States joins other delegations in welcoming you,
Ambassador Zekolli, and thanking you for your thorough and
detailed report. We congratulate the Center on the
celebration of its 10-year anniversary, and appreciate that
it plays an integral role in supporting the Government of
Turkmenistan in its efforts to adhere to its OSCE
commitments.

The United States believes that the top OSCE priority in
Turkmenistan should be Human Dimension activities. We are
therefore pleased that the host government is ready to engage
with the Center in the implementation of human dimension
initiatives, particularly in the two new areas of prisoner
rights and steps against human trafficking. We were pleased
to see recent reforms in Turkmenistan,s legal system,
especially in the areas of judicial impartiality and the
criminal procedures code. We note, in particular, the
Center,s provision of training to more than 200 judges,
prosecutors, investigators and defense attorneys in new ways
to look at issues surrounding the pre-trial detention of
criminal defendants. We will watch closely how the
Government of Turkmenistan implements these new laws to bring
about real reform.

Similarly, we encourage your continued efforts to foster the
development of Turkmen civil society. We note the Center,s
vital role in bringing together NGO and government leaders,
despite the burdensome NGO registration process and ongoing
difficulties finding channels to express opposing views. We
observe with some concern the continued lack of new political
parties registering in Turkmenistan, even after
constitutional changes that now allow them to do so. We hope
to see progress on these issues as civil society develops and
as the climate for other political parties to operate takes
hold. We encourage you to continue following closely
developments in this area.

We note with satisfaction the Center,s important efforts to
combat Trafficking in Persons and domestic violence this past
year and commend you and your staff for the excellent
conference that took place on trafficking last week. We also
commend the government of Turkmenistan for its commitment to
support the conference and deal openly with this serious
problem.

We wholeheartedly endorse the Center,s strong focus on
border security issues as a means of combating terrorism and
countering trafficking in drugs and persons * an area where
the OSCE can make a clear difference. This focus has
produced real results in the first dimension, particularly in
the vital area of border security. We congratulate your
team, Mr. Ambassador, for the joint training with Turkmen and
Afghan border guards and hope that still greater cooperation
along this crucial border will remain a focus of the Center.
We commend the government of Turkmenistan for supporting two
extra-budgetary border projects and OSCE efforts to stop the
flow of drugs and other contraband from Afghanistan into
Central Asia. The support has made a difference in the
security and stability of the region.

In the second dimension, the Center is on target with its
efforts to help develop a market economy in Turkmenistan by
concentrating efforts to join in President Berdimuhamedov,s
call to fight corruption and money laundering. Working to
strengthen the regulatory framework for small and
medium-sized enterprises is foresighted. Similarly, the
Center,s programming on effective water use will pay
dividends for future generations of Turkmen.

The United States fully supports the vital role that the OSCE
Center in Ashgabat plays in helping the Government of
Turkmenistan fulfill its OSCE commitments.

Thank you very much for joining us today, Ambassador Zekolli.

Thank you, Madam Chairwoman.
CLINTON

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