Central Asia: Regional Security

House of Lords written question – answered on 5th October 2009.

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Photo of Viscount Waverley Viscount Waverley Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what are their priorities towards Turkmenistan as regards (a) regional security and stability, (b) good governance, and (c) energy security.

Photo of Lord Malloch-Brown Lord Malloch-Brown Labour

Our priority is to support Turkmenistan in becoming a stable and prosperous partner for the UK and EU. We are pleased that UK companies are expressing interest and seeking to develop business links in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan can play a key role in the development of a southern corridor bringing gas from the Caspian region to the EU, and help diversification of supply routes to ensure energy security. To that end, we and our EU partners supported Turkmenistan's initiative last year for a UN resolution on the secure transit of energy supplies.

We are working to support further reform in Turkmenistan in contacts with the Turkmen authorities and stand ready to help the process in whatever way we can. In addition, the EU has a comprehensive and results-oriented annual human rights dialogue with Turkmenistan, which includes a focus on the need for further progress in Turkmen promotion and protection of human rights.

We are also looking to work more closely with the Ashgabat-based UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia and encourage substantive progress towards its core objectives (that include drug trafficking, terrorism and organised crime; environmental degradation, water and energy management; and issues relating to Afghanistan).

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