OSCE Chairman-in-Office defends Centre in Turkmenistan

Turkmenistan Materials 28 June 2006 16:41 (UTC +04:00)

(noticias.info) - The OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht, defended the Organization's Centre in Ashgabad today and rejected persistent allegations that Turkmenistan is making against an OSCE staff member there.

Turkmenistan's officials are still reported to suspect a staff member of the OSCE Centre in Ashgabat, Mr. Benjamin Moreau, to be engaged in illegal activities, reports Trend.

"I do not understand the Turkmen accusations against Mr. Moreau nor the time that is apparently needed to clear his name fully and unambiguously," said Minister De Gucht.

The Minister added: "We have every confidence in Mr. Moreau and his work in the human dimension. We fully support the OSCE Centre's staff in Ashgabad. The Centre is doing a valuable job in difficult circumstances. Turkmenistan is a participating State in the OSCE and that means adhering to commonly agreed principles and standards."

The Head of the Centre in Ashgabad, Ambassador Ibrahim Djikic, had already expressed his full confidence in Mr. Moreau, a French national who has been on the Centre's staff for almost two years. At the Centre, Mr. Moreau works to promote human rights and civil society. In this role he meets many Turkmen citizens, some of whom approach him with human rights-related complaints.

Created in January 1999, the OSCE Centre in Ashgabad has ever since carried out its activities in a transparent and accountable manner, in accordance with its mandate. Its aim is to improve the authorities' capacity to uphold Turkmenistan's OSCE commitments, and to develop the country's democracy, market economy and civil society.