The seventh summit of Turkic-speaking countries closed Friday, April 27, with a call for developing tourism in the region and for financial aid to build an oil and gas pipeline.
The summit was attended by the presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan's parliament chairman.
While Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer opened the summit with a call for greater peace and stability in the region, the negotiations quickly centered on economic considerations.
These included the development of the ancient Silk Road, the key commercial axis that linked Europe to the Far East until the Middle Ages.
It is hoped that rehabilitating the Silk Road will give a much-needed boost to the regions tourist industry.
In a final declaration, the participants acknowledged the importance of human rights, secularity, the market economy, and democracy and renewed their commitment to further economic and commercial cooperation.
The next summit of Turkic-speaking peoples will be held in 2002 in Ashkhabad, the capital of Turkmenistan, the only country not yet to host the forum. — (AFP, Istanbul)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)