Turkmenistan offers to host Central Asian disarmament conference
Turkmenistan has offered to host an international conference on disarmament in Central Asia and the Caspian basin under UN auspices in its capital, Ashgabat, RIA Novosti reported.
Addressing the 64th Session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said his country was ready to organize such a conference in the first half of 2010.
"We are convinced that the less weaponry there is in the world, the more stable its development will be, and the more trust and understanding there will be between countries and nations," he said.
Central Asia has witnessed increasing militarization in the past decade, partly due to U.S.-led operations in Afghanistan.
In recent months, Washington agreed an extension to its lease of an airbase in Kyrgyzstan, while Russia also struck deals for further bases in the region, as well as for a multinational rapid reaction force and a joint air-defense network.