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Answers to questions of Russian mass media by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov summarizing the results of the negotiations with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, Ashgabat, 4 April 2013

4-04-2013, 10:04

Question: Sergey Viktorovich, how did you negotiations with the Turkmen party take place? Did you touch upon the topic of double citizenship?

Sergey Lavrov: Today we had constructive negotiations with the President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov. We were able to discuss all lines of our interaction, noticed our mutual satisfaction with the level of political dialog, development rates of trade and economic links, discussed and cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Turkmenistan indeed pays big attention to the development of cultural links with Russia, support of Russian, but the general academic school named after Alexander Pushkin is a model of institutions of such kind. We would like the “Russian school abroad” project we are implementing now to match such standards.

We certainly discussed international problems, our cooperation in the UN, where Turkmenistan supports many initiatives of Russia, including it is a co-author of the Russian project of the resolution of the General Assembly condemning heroization of Nazism. We have talked also about our cooperation within CIS. Turkmenistan has just left his powers as a chairman and last year under his chairmanship was rather fruitful for the Commonwealth. We touched upon the topic of SCO where Turkmenistan is not a member, but regularly joins some of its events including summits. Against this background we reviewed the topic of Afghanistan, the so called “problems of 2014”, related to the withdrawal of military forces of (international) coalition and about how to ensure security, not to allow escalating the threats that still come from the territory of Afghanistan.

We also discussed the topic of interaction in the Caspian. We have a shared understanding of the need to activate the work on the documents that are currently being discussed within the framework of negotiations of the five Pre-Caspian countries to faster prepare and determine the date of the next summit.

Within the framework of humanitarian problems we certainly discussed the problem of persons with double citizenship, the so called “dual nationals”. We know about the expressed concerns, including in respect of changing foreign passports of Turkmenistan that must be ended this July. The President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov confirmed their readiness to guarantee inadmissibility of derogation of others’ rights and non-discrimination of any person living in Turkmenistan, whereof he recently talked on the phone with the President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Today we meaningfully reviewed some problems that are already arising in practical terms. We have representations on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan that each specific problem of each specific person will be examined and resolved in such a way for these people not to feel uncomfortable.

After the meeting with the President during our negotiations in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov assured us that special mechanisms will be coordinated with participation of the Embassy of Russia in the nearest time, so that everything is done this way.

Question: Do you plan to conduct negotiations with US Secretary of State John Kerry within the framework of the forthcoming meeting of foreign ministers of the “Group of Eight” in London?

Sergey Lavrov: We already have an agreement about contacts with the Foreign Minister of France. We are currently coordinating the possibility to meet US Secretary of State.

Question: Yesterday the official representative of the U.S. Department of State Victoria Nuland during a press briefing announced the invitation of the American party to Russia to visit the Guantanamo Bay special prison to see in what conditions prisoners, including the Russian citizen, are kept there. Are you going to accept this invitation?

Sergey Lavrov: 10 years have passed since Russia started to try to get such access to the Russian citizen detained in Guantanamo. Frankly speaking I have not seen the message you mentioned, because I am in a trip now. But, if so, we certainly wish to get convinced that our citizen is OK.



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