OSCE Permanent Council No. 614
EU Response to Ambassador Djikic, Head of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabad
- The European Union warmly welcomes Ambassador Djikic, and thanks him for his comprehensive report. The EU expresses its full support for the role of the OSCE Centre.
- Recognizing some positive developments in Turkmenistan as set out in the report, the European Union remains seriously concerned over the lack of progress concerning democratic reforms in the country. In this context, the EU re-calls its statement in the Permanent Council of 6 April 2006, and urges Turkmenistan once again to ensure the implementation of numerous OSCE commitments, in particular in the field of human rights, fundamental freedoms, notably freedom of expression and assembly, freedom of the media, the rule of law and democratisation.
- The European Union remains also deeply concerned over reports of torture, incommunicado imprisonment, evictions from residences without prior notification or compensation, travelling restrictions imposed on Turkmen citizens, as well as discrimination against persons belonging to national minorities, particularly in the field of education and employment. The EU has noted with concern the recent arrests of Human Rights defenders. Furthermore, the European Union re-iterates its call to Turkmenistan to allow genuine plurality of choice, starting with the Local Council elections on 23 July 2006, and to co-operate with the OSCE Centre as well as ODIHR in this regard.
- The European Union believes that the OSCE Centre in Ashgabad has an important potential to assist Turkmenistan in implementing OSCE commitments in all three dimensions, and believes that the activities of the Centre could be further expanded. In this context, the EU also hopes that all OSCE personnel can continue to perform its duties without hindrance. The EU welcomes the continuous efforts of the Centre to enhance the dialogue with Turkmen authorities, and hopes that through improved dialogue and responsiveness on the Turkmen side, including more direct access for the Centre to relevant Turkmen Ministries, the effectiveness and efficiency of the assistance of the Centre could be enhanced considerably. The European Union also calls on the Turkmen authorities to ensure that individual citizens are allowed to communicate with the OSCE Centre without hindrance, and are allowed to leave the country to participate in OSCE events abroad.
- The European Union welcomes the increased interest of Turkmenistan to co-operate with international organisations, as set out in the report by Ambassador Djikic, and encourages Turkmenistan to further deepen this co-operation. The EU also welcomes the co-ordination among the activities of the Centre and EU assistance programs. We believe that improved cooperation between the EU and the OSCE will also benefit the people of Turkmenistan. Furthermore, the EU recalls the EU-Turkmenistan dialogue on human rights and democracy issues of 1 June 2006, and underlines its expectation that this dialogue should lead to concrete actions. The European Union stands ready to further assist Turkmenistan in its reform efforts, including within the OSCE framework.
The Acceding Countries Bulgaria and Romania, the Candidate Countries Turkey, Croatia* and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia*, the Countries of the Stabilisation and association Process and potential candidates Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia, EFTA countries Island and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as Ukraine align themselves with this declaration.
*Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process