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Najam Abbas Tajik leader calls for a reformed, equitable mutually beneficial CIS


 The Tajikistan Update 

Tajik leader calls for a reformed, equitable mutually beneficial CIS

Dushanbe November 21, 1998

by Najam Abbas Ph.D (, observer of developments in Central Asia

Tajikistan feels that there is no alternative to the Commonwealth of Independent States, but at the same time calls for the need to reform the collective arrangement on a mutually beneficial and equitable basis, Zafar Saidov spokesman of Tajik President Imamoli Rakhmanov stated Saturday. "Everybody is concerned about the future of the Commonwealth and feels the need to do something for its better future, said Zafarov. He was commenting on the brief stopover in Dushanbe by Boris Berezovskiy, the Secretary General of CIS who just completed a whistle-stop visit to Baku, Ashkabad and Dushanbe this week as a part of his trail blazing tour of the CIS states.

Citing President Rakhmanov, the spokesman told Tajikistan Television that is was necessary to have equity and respect to the rights of each sovereign member within the Commonwealth. Europe experienced a gradual development into a union, making it the optimal option for development. In President Rakhmanov's opinion, appropriate strategy can lead the CIS to a common market where there are minimum restrictions on the free movement of capital, goods and labor. This is the aim which the leadership of CIS and its executive wing should focus on, added the spokesman. He quoted Rakhmanov stressing the need for minimized bureaucracy at the CIS without doing away with the achievements it has made so far. There is "need to retain but reform" the setup to promote "mutually rewarding but equitable cooperation among the sovereign states."

Talking to reporters at the Dushanbe airport on Friday about the top item on his agenda during the visit, Berezovsky said, the issue is about reforming the Commonwealth of Independent States in light of the concerns raised by CIS leaders in April 1998." There is an increasing demand that reforms should be introduced in "an effective and decisive manner." He added that "the task ahead is to build the foundations for joint collaboration for mutual economic welfare reflecting a need to take care for the common interests, a need to create such conditions so that economics takes a leading role in the relations of the CIS member countries. "This is a key issue to be discussed in the forthcoming summit of the CIS leaders. The three-day blitz trip to Azerbaijan -Turkmenistan-Tajikistan allowed Berezovskiy to learn the views of the leadership of these countries on the future of the Commonwealth.

Published at the Tajikistan Update on November 23, 1998