Turkmenistan

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 28th January 2015.

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Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will press the government of Turkmenistan to fulfil specific benchmarks set by the European Parliament as a condition of upgraded relations with the EU in the form of a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on ratification of the EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what his policy is on requiring benchmarks for human rights set by the European Parliament to be met by the government of Turkmenistan before the UK ratifies the EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement.

Photo of David Lidington David Lidington The Minister for Europe

The Government intends to move ahead with the ratification of the Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). We are proposing this move on the basis that we can best exercise useful influence to promote adherence to internationally accepted governance standards and the rule of law in Turkmenistan through constructive engagement. Furthermore the PCA itself contains specific provisions relevant to human rights which would give the UK and EU additional scope for promoting reform.

While the UK shares many of the European Parliament’s concerns about human rights in Turkmenistan, the benchmarks it has set have no legal basis under the EU Treaties and the UK is not bound by their specific proposals. The UK has raised its concerns about human rights issues in Turkmenistan for a number of years, including at Ministerial level, and we will continue to do so.

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