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The UN regional center of preventive diplomacy in Central Asia may be headquartered in Ashkhabad
President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev addressed his Turkmen counterpart Saparmurat Niyazov with such a proposal. As Mr. Nazarbayev's letter which was published on Wednesday by the Turkmen press reads, "favorable conditions for successful operation of the center, aimed at helping turn Central Asia into a zone of stable development on the basis of non-conflict co-existence of the peoples inhabiting it can be created precisely in the capital of your peace-loving country [from the mid-1990s Turkmenistan has been pursuing a policy of "eternal neutrality" and non-participation in any blocs but this status of it remains not more than a declaration, since it has not been officially recognized by the UN - ed.]". Mr. Nazarbayev explained his proposal which will, in his opinion, be backed by all the Central-Asian countries by the important geostrategic position of Turkmenistan, as well as its "consistent policy of neutrality and development of friendly relations with the neighbor countries." In his article published in the UN Chronicle magazine this year the Turkmen president also called Ashkhabad an ideal place for opening the center, and stated that "Turkmenistan is ready to render full assistance in locating it in our neutral state's capital." The idea of establishing the center was voiced during the visit of UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan to Kazakhstan in 2002. By today a concept of the center's operation has been worked out, and, in effect, all organizational questions relating to opening it have been decided.
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