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Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the EU on the Presidential Elections in Turkmenistan

The European Union continues to follow developments in Turkmenistan with great interest.

The European Union hopes that the recent presidential elections in Turkmenistan will pave the way for internal reforms, in particular in the fields of human rights and democracy. The European Union notes that the new President announced a number of reforms in his inaugural speech.

The European Union and Turkmenistan are committed to common values through their membership in the United Nations and the OSCE. The European Union is ready to strengthen cooperation on the implementation of UN and OSCE agreements and resolutions. The European Union is willing to support Turkmenistan as a stable, independent country and to assist the new government in implementing democratic values and market economy principles.

Against this background, the European Union is ready to engage in political dialogue with the new Government of Turkmenistan, in order to assist Turkmenistan in implementing reforms, in particular in the fields of human rights, democracy and rule of law.

The European Union calls upon the new President of Turkmenistan to free political prisoners and to guarantee adherence to internationally accepted human rights standards.

The European Union would like to hear more about the development plans of the new government of Turkmenistan and how the European Union could best assist reforms

"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, Montenegro, Serbia, and the EFTA countries Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, members of the European Economic Area, as well as the Republic of Moldova align themselves with this declaration."

*Croatia and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continue to be part of the Stabilisation and Association Process.

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Date: 17.02.2007