PACE Political Committee Meeting Continues in Baku

Today, 12 December, next meeting of the PACE Political Committee continues in Baku, during which the situation in Central Asia was discussed, Trend reports. The Head of the Political Committee, Abdulkadir Atesh, stated at opening of the meeting that of the 5 Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan), only Kazakhstan have participated in the discussions.

Thereafter, the PACE reporter for Central Asia, Murad Merjan, delivered a report regarding the situation in this region. He stressed that the Central Asia region has immense potential and it needs to establish contact with these countries to assist in developing democracy. He added that the Council of Europe has relations with only Kazakhstan and other countries of Central Asia were not willing to utilize the opportunities provided to them and participate in today's debates.

Later, the Director of the project for Central Asia of the International Crisis Group, Michel Hall, said that Kazakhstan has progressed in many ways. He is certain that the economy is developing in the Country, but it is also important to develop other spheres. The representative of the Crisis Group considers that in Kyrgyzstan, the period of political instability continues and the fight for power is still ongoing. He described Tajikistan as a Country where the corruption is at a high level, opposition representatives are detained and women live in very vulnerable conditions.

Hall said authoritarianism dominates in Turkmenistan where the President is life-time elected. The education problem is very prevalent with the secondary education system being defined at 9 years and higher education at 2 years. The country is moving backwards, not forwards, he said. Commenting on Uzbekistan, Hall said that this is the key for Central Asia. The economy is developing at the expense of the export of cotton, gold and gas from which the President of Uzbekistan generally receives the revenue. Repression from independent journalists and the opposition continues in the Country. The population do not trust the Courts and other State institutions.

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