OREANDA-NEWS.  February 13, 2012.  President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received Sergey Lebedev, Chairman of the Executive Committee – Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States, who is on a visit to Turkmenistan as Head of the CIS Observer Mission.

Expressing gratitude for the opportunity of a personal meeting, the CIS Executive Secretary emphasized that he was very glad to visit Turkmenistan again and see the ambitious impressive reforms that had taken place in the country within a short of period of time.

Thanking for the kind words, the Turkmen leader noted that Turkmenistan as an associated member of the Commonwealth of Independent States with the status of neutrality valued the ties of friendship and mutual understanding it had been strengthening with the brotherly nations of the Commonwealth for many decades and sought to enhance and expand traditional contacts on the bi- and multi-lateral basis.

The Turkmen leader and his guest discussed the wide range of the issues regarding particularly the CIS development strategy and the prospects of collaboration between Turkmenistan that is presiding over the Commonwealth of Independent States in 2012 and the CIS Executive Committee. In this context a focus of discussion was the joint preparations for the important event that would take place in the current years as consistent with the concept of the presidency of Turkmenistan in the CIS approved by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

Turkmenistan positively evaluates the experience of the Commonwealth as an effective mechanism for cooperation in the post-Soviet space and seeks to intensify partnership built on mutual benefit and equality and develop the optimal model of cooperation given national priorities and global development goals. As 2012 is declared in the CIS as the Year of Sport and Healthy Lifestyle, along with important political meetings and economic, arts and scientific forums the sporting events, including the Open Turkmenistan President’s Football Cup which will be held this autumn, are scheduled for this year.

Expressing profound gratitude to the leader and the Government of Turkmenistan for effective cooperation and support, S. Lebedev noted that all the CIS states had approved the very interesting, substantive and informative concept of the presidency of Turkmenistan that includes numerous activities to be held in Turkmenistan and the CIS states.

A focus of the meeting was the activities of the CIS Observer Mission. The guest informed the leader of the Turkmen state of the work carried out by the Observer Mission of the Commonwealth of Independent States that consists of 63 observers from the CIS states, including parliamentarians, prominent public figures, diplomats, representatives of the Interparliamentary Assembly of Member Nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Belarusian-Russian Union, the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States. It was noted that the observers, who had visited all the regions of the country, were planning to visit the polls to observer the process of voting and counting votes on the day of the presidential election.

“In recent years the Turkmen electoral law has undergone positive changes towards greater openness, democracy,” said S. Lebedev. Underlining the importance of fulfilling the important task to ensure the right of citizens for freedom of expression, the guest focused with satisfaction on the positive fact that the programmes of all presidential candidates had the common objective and aimed to enhance the economic potential of Turkmenistan and improve the people’s welfare.

Taking an opportunity, the Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Commonwealth of Independent States thanked the leader of the Turkmen state for inviting the CIS Observer Mission to observe the February 12 presidential election in Turkmenistan and wished the success in holding this important political action that was a crucial step on the path of the ongoing democratic reforms in the country.

In conclusion President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev expressed belief that the fruitful dialogue would be enhanced further in the interests of the states and nations of the Commonwealth.