UN Under-Secretary meets Kyrgyz PM in Bishkek

Jayantha Dhanapala, the United Nations Under-Secretary for Disarmament Affairs, on Monday discussed the issue of creating a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia with Kyrgyz Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev. Dhanapala is in Bishkek on a visit.

Tanayev said in remarks during the talks that creating a nuclear-free zone "would contribute to profound positive shifts in relations between states both at the sub-regional level and at the level of bilateral relationships between countries of Central Asia." The idea of creating a nuclear-free zone in Central Asia was first floated at a regional summit in Almaty in February 1997. It was subsequently endorsed by the UN leadership.

The negotiators exchanged views on issues of use of light weapons and small arms in the Kyrgyz military and on the importance of keeping the existing mode of access to information on the development of the republic's armed forces.

Another crucial topic at the meeting was to do with fighting threats of international terrorism. "The Kyrgyz people condemns terrorism in all its manifestations and favors creating an international program of measures designed to eliminate it," emphasized Tanayev.

The UN Under-Secretary had traveled to Kyrgyzstan as part of a tour of the five Central Asian states. While in Bishkek, he also held meetings with Defense Minister Esen Topoyev and Foreign Minister Askar Aitmatov, discussing issues of further cooperation between Kyrgyzstan and the UN.

Dhanapala also met the personnel of UN agencies and institutions operating on the ground.

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