US embassy cable - 96ASHGABAT2612

USREP BROWN MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF TURKMEN PARLIAMENT CONCERNING INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS

Identifier: 96ASHGABAT2612
Wikileaks: View 96ASHGABAT2612 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Ashgabat
Created: 1996-09-05 11:13:00
Classification: CONFIDENTIAL
Tags: PREL PHUM EAID OSCE TX XG
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
O 051113Z SEP 96
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9052
INFO AMEMBASSY BERN 
USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 
EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
CIS COLLECTIVE
USMISSION USVIENNA 
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 03 ASHGABAT 002612 
 
STATE FOR EUR/CEN 
USMISSION USVIENNA FOR USREP OSCE 
 
E.O. 12958:  DECL:  9/01/06 
TAGS:  PREL, PHUM, EAID, OSCE, TX, XG 
SUBJECT:  USREP BROWN MEETING WITH MEMBERS OF TURKMEN 
PARLIAMENT CONCERNING INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN 
RIGHTS 
 
1.  (U) CLASSIFIED BY CHARGE TATIANA C. GFOELLER. 
REASON:  1.5 D. 
 
2.  (C) SUMMARY:  ON AUGUST 30 US OSCE REPRESENTATIVE 
SAM BROWN MET WITH THE TWO TURKMEN PARLIAMENTARIANS 
DESIGNATED TO MANAGE THE GOTX'S INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY 
AND HUMAN RIGHTS -- VLADIMIR KADYROV AND RASHID 
MEREDOV.  AMBASSADOR, DCM, AND POLECONOFF (NOTETAKER) 
ALSO ATTENDED.  KADYROV EXPLAINED THAT THE CLOSE 
ASSOCIATION OF TURKMENISTAN'S EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE 
BRANCHES WAS INDICATIVE OF THE COUNTRY'S "TRANSITIONAL" 
STATUS.  EVENTUALLY, HE HOPED THAT TURKMENISTAN WOULD 
SERVE AS A REGIONAL CENTER AND MODEL FOR DEMOCRATIC 
REFORM AND MARKET ECONOMICS.  HE ENVISIONED THE 
INSTITUTE AS PLAYING A STRONG ROLE IN THIS TRANSITION 
BY PROVIDING "SCIENTIFIC" ANALYSES OF THE KINDS OF 
LEGISLATION THAT PROMOTE DEMOCRATIZATION AND THE 
PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS.  ARMED WITH THIS 
INFORMATION AND FACTORING IN TURKMENISTAN'S PARTICULAR 
SITUATION AS A CENTRAL ASIAN COUNTRY AND ITS 
"OBLIGATIONS AS A NEUTRAL COUNTRY," PARLIAMENTARIANS 
(WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF INSTITUTE STAFF AND PERHAPS, 
OUTSIDE EXPERTS, AS WELL) WOULD BE ABLE TO DRAFT 
APPROPRIATE LEGISLATION.  THE GOAL WOULD BE ACHIEVEMENT 
OF CIVIL AND COMMERCIAL CODES CONSISTENT WITH 
TURKMENISTAN'S INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS, BUT TAILORED 
TO TURKMENISTAN'S PLACE IN THE WORLD. 
 
3.  (C) USREP BROWN RESPONDED THAT MANY BELIEVE THAT 
TURKMENISTAN HAS NOT LIVED UP TO ITS INTERNATIONAL 
COMMITMENTS.  HE SAID HE ALSO HOPED THAT THE INSTITUTE 
WOULD BECOME A CATALYST FOR DEMOCRATIZATION AND THE 
PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS, BUT WARNED THAT PEOPLE WILL 
JUDGE THE INSTITUTE AND THE GOTX BY THEIR DEEDS, NOT BY 
THEIR WORDS.  NOTING THAT BOTH THE U.S. AND THE GOTX 
WANT THE INSTITUTE TO BE ESTABLISHED AND THAT THE U.S. 
IS PREPARED TO SEEK OSCE AND OTHER ASSISTANCE, HE 
DESCRIBED THE TASK THAT LIES AHEAD AS "NOT 
COMPLICATED."  NOW, "WE JUST NEED TO DO IT," HE SAID. 
END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------- 
OPENING REMARKS 
--------------- 
 
4.  (C) FOLLOWING HIS AUGUST 30 MEETING WITH PRESIDENT 
NIYAZOV, USREP TO THE OSCE SAM BROWN DISCUSSED THE 
INSTITUTE FOR DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS WITH THE TWO 
MEN CHARGED WITH LAUNCHING THE ORGANIZATION -- MEJLIS 
MEMBERS VLADIMIR KADYROV AND RASHID MEREDOV.  KADYROV 
OPENED THE MEETING BY REMARKING THAT THE MEJLIS AND THE 
CABINET OF MINISTERS HAVE OFFICES IN THE SAME BUILDING. 
HE DESCRIBED THIS AS SYMBOLIC OF THE WAY THE TWO 
BRANCHES WORK TOGETHER "IN THIS TRANSITIONAL PERIOD." 
USREP RESPONDED THAT PRESIDENT NIYAZOV HAD SPOKEN OF 
THE NEED FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF INDEPENDENT EXECUTIVE 
AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCHES.  HE EXPRESSED HIS GREAT 
INTEREST IN SEEING HOW THIS DEVELOPMENT TAKES PLACE AND 
WHAT ROLE THE INSTITUTE CAN PLAY IN THIS PROCESS.  HE 
SAID HE THOUGHT KADYROV AND MEREDOV HAD BEEN ENTRUSTED 
WITH A GREAT RESPONSIBILITY. 
 
----------------- 
KADYROV'S REMARKS 
----------------- 
 
5.  (C) KADYROV THEN LAUNCHED INTO A LONG MONOLOGUE ON 
HIS VISION OF THE INSTITUTE.  HE EXPRESSED HIS HOPE 
THAT IT WOULD HELP MAKE TURKMENISTAN "A MODERN COUNTRY" 
WITH "A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY" AND A SYSTEM OF "MARKET 
RELATIONS."  WITH THE AID OF THE INSTITUTE, AND 
CONSISTENT WITH ITS "ADDED RESPONSIBILITY" AS A NEUTRAL 
STATE, TURKMENISTAN COULD BECOME A "REGIONAL CENTER FOR 
DEMOCRATIC REFORM AND MARKET ECONOMICS."  THE INSTITUTE 
WOULD SERVE AS A "SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL CENTER" FOR 
THE STUDY OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS.  IN 
IDENTIFYING WHAT POLICIES AND LEGISLATION FOSTER 
DEMOCRATIZATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS, IT WOULD TAKE INTO 
ACCOUNT THE NATURE OF THE REGION.  HE ELABORATED, "WE 
ARE PART OF THIS REGION.  WE SHOULD COOPERATE WITH THE 
COUNTRIES AROUND US." 
 
6.  (C) KADYROV THEN OUTLINED THE PARTICULAR 
RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE INSTITUTE:  (1) TO PROVIDE 
"SCIENTIFIC" ANALYSES (2) TO DETERMINE WHAT LEGAL 
CONDITIONS ARE NECESSARY TO FOSTER MAXIMUM PROTECTION 
OF HUMAN RIGHTS (3) TO DRAFT LAWS TO IMPROVE WORKING 
CONDITIONS AND TO TRANSFORM THE ORGANIZATIONAL 
STRUCTURE OF THE GOVERNMENT FROM A (PARTIALLY) SOVIET 
STRUCTURE INTO A DEMOCRATIC STRUCTURE (4) TO CONSIDER 
WHAT STEPS THE GOTX NEEDS TO TAKE TO FULFILL ITS 
INTERNATIONAL OBLIGATIONS, INCLUDING ITS OBLIGATIONS AS 
"A NEUTRAL STATE."  ASSERTING THAT THE TURKMEN 
CONSTITUTION ALREADY SAYS THAT THE MEJLIS SHOULD ENSURE 
THAT TURKMEN LAWS ARE CONSISTENT WITH INTERNATIONAL 
LAW, HE STATED THAT THE MEJLIS IS ALREADY WORKING TO 
RECONCILE ITS LAWS TO INTERNATIONAL LAW.  HE ADDED THAT 
U.S. AND EU EXPERTS HAVE PROVIDED SOME ASSISTANCE TO 
THE MEJLIS IN ITS EFFORTS TO DRAFT COMPREHENSIVE CIVIL 
AND COMMERCIAL CODES. 
 
7.  (C) HE CITED THE DIFFICULTY MEJLIS MEMBERS FACE IN 
TACKLING THIS ENORMOUS TASK:  THEY LACK STAFF TO ASSIST 
THEM IN DRAFTING LEGISLATION.  INSTITUTE STAFFERS COULD 
PLAY THAT ROLE. 
 
---------------------- 
USREP BROWN'S RESPONSE 
---------------------- 
 
8.  (C) USREP RESPONDED BY RECALLING THAT BOTH THE 
PRESIDENT AND THE FOREIGN MINISTER HAD INFORMED HIM 
THAT THEY HAD SELECTED AS LEADERS OF THE INSTITUTE TOP- 
NOTCH PEOPLE -- PEOPLE WHO COULD MAKE IT WORK. 
THEREFORE, USREP STATED, HE FELT HE COULD SPEAK 
FRANKLY, SAYING "WE KNOW TURKMENISTAN IS LOCATED IN A 
PARTICULAR REGIONAL CONTEXT WITH PARTICULAR PRESSURES, 
BUT TURKMENISTAN ALSO EXISTS IN A BROADER INTERNATIONAL 
CONTEXT.  AND THERE, TURKMENISTAN HAS MADE COMMITMENTS" 
-- INCLUDING IN THE CONTEXT OF ITS MEMBERSHIP IN THE 
OSCE AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE HELSINKI ACCORDS -- "TO 
GIVE CERTAIN RIGHTS TO PEOPLE, BOTH INDIVIDUALLY AND 
SOCIALLY."  THESE INCLUDE FREEDOM FROM ARBITRARY 
ARREST, PROTECTION IN ONE'S OWN HOME, AND FREEDOMS OF 
MOVEMENT, OF THE PRESS, OF ASSEMBLY, AND OF SPEECH. 
NEVERTHELESS, "IN VIENNA MANY PEOPLE THINK TURKMENISTAN 
HAS NOT LIVED UP TO ITS COMMITMENTS" IN INTERNATIONAL 
AGREEMENTS.  "SO, HOW YOU DEAL WITH INTERNAL PROBLEMS 
OF DEMOCRATIZATION, ALSO HAS INTERNATIONAL 
RAMIFICATIONS."  THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY'S VIEW OF 
TURKMENISTAN "DEPENDS ON IMPLEMENTATION OF THOSE 
AGREEMENTS." 
 
9.  (C) USREP CHARACTERIZED THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE 
INSTITUTE AS AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS FULFILLING 
TURKMENISTAN'S INTERNATIONAL COMMITMENTS.  HE WELCOMED 
PRESIDENT NIYAZOV'S ASSURANCES THAT THE INSTITUTE WOULD 
BE INDEPENDENT, ASSERTING THAT THIS WOULD BE CENTRAL TO 
ITS SUCCESS.  HE ALSO WELCOMED THE PRESIDENT'S OPENNESS 
TO OSCE ASSISTANCE.  BUT HE WARNED THAT THE PROCESS OF 
ESTABLISHING AND RUNNING THE INSTITUTE "WOULD NOT BE A 
PAINLESS PROCESS."  SOME WOULD UNDOUBTEDLY WANT TO 
CONTINUE TO RESTRICT CERTAIN ACTIVITIES OR EVEN 
RESTRICT FREEDOMS TURKMENISTAN HAS ALREADY AGREED TO 
PROTECT.  THE LEADERS OF THE INSTITUTE WOULD HAVE TO 
GUARD AGAINST SUCH EFFORTS. 
 
10.  (C) USREP EXPRESSED HIS OPTIMISM THAT THE U.S. AND 
TURKMENISTAN WOULD BE ABLE TO CONVINCE THE OSCE TO 
FINANCE THE PROVISION OF EXPERTS TO ASSIST THE 
INSTITUTE.  HE ENCOURAGED KADYROV AND MEREDOV TO STAY 
IN CLOSE COMMUNICATION WITH THE U.S. EMBASSY TO ENSURE 
THAT "WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN IN VIENNA."  THE TASK IS 
"NOT COMPLICATED."  BOTH THE U.S. AND THE GOTX WANT 
THIS.  "WE JUST NEED TO DO IT.  IT'S STRAIGHTFORWARD. 
YOU JUST NEED TO GET STARTED." 
 
--------------------------------------------- 
KADYROV AND MEREDOV'S COMMENTS ON COOPERATION 
--------------------------------------------- 
 
11.  (C) MEREDOV STATED THAT NIYAZOV'S IDEA IN DECIDING 
(IN DECEMBER 1995) TO CREATE THE INSTITUTE WAS TO 
FULFILL ALL THE OBLIGATIONS ON HUMAN RIGHTS AND 
DEMOCRATIZATION INHERENT IN TURKMENISTAN'S 
INTERNATIONALLY-RECOGNIZED STATUS AS A NEUTRAL STATE. 
IN THIS REGARD, THE INSTITUTE WOULD COOPERATE CLOSELY 
WITH NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS AND WITH 
INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS.  KADYROV CHARACTERIZED 
RELATIONS WITH THE EMBASSY AS GOOD AND COMMENTED ON THE 
USEFULNESS OF THE NET PROGRAM, WHICH PROVIDED 
ASSISTANCE ENABLING MORE THAN 20 MEJLIS MEMBERS TO 
TRAVEL TO THE UNITED STATES AND TO BECOME "ACQUAINTED 
WITH INTERNATIONAL LAWS."  AMBASSADOR INTERJECTED THAT 
WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO PROVIDE ADDITIONAL ASSISTANCE ALONG 
THOSE LINES.  HE SUGGESTED THAT KADYROV AND MEREDOV 
ADVISE US WHEN THEY IDENTIFY COMMITTEE CHAIRMEN OR 
OTHER KEY INSTITUTE STAFF. 
 
12.  (C) IN CLOSING, KADYROV SAID "SOON THE INSTITUTE 
WILL BE OPEN, BUT THE PROCESS OF DEVELOPING THE 
INSTITUTE TO MAKE IT A REAL INSTITUTE WILL TAKE TIME." 
HE PREDICTED "WE WILL HAVE LOTS OF PROBLEMS" IN GETTING 
UNDERWAY AND WILL NEED "LOTS OF ASSISTANCE.  EVEN WHEN 
WE ARE OPERATING AT FULL POTENTIAL WE WILL NEED THE 
HELP OF THE U.S. AND OTHERS."  BUT, HE ADDED, "WE THINK 
THE INSTITUTE WILL BECOME THE MOST IMPORTANT INSTITUTE 
IN THIS REGION" FOR PROTECTING HUMAN RIGHTS AND 
BUILDING DEMOCRACY. 
 
---------------------- 
USREP BROWN'S RESPONSE 
---------------------- 
 
13.  (C) USREP GAVE A MORE MEASURED ASSESSMENT, SAYING 
THAT HE THOUGHT THE INSTITUTE COULD BE A MODEL, BUT 
THAT THE TRUE TEST OF THE INSTITUTE IN THE EYES OF 
OTHERS WOULD BE WHETHER IT SUCCEEDS IN "CHANGING 
TURKMENISTAN'S CIRCUMSTANCES."  IF IT ACCOMPLISHES 
THAT, IT WILL HAVE GREAT INFLUENCE; IF IT DOES NOT, IT 
WILL HAVE NO INFLUENCE. 
 
GFOELLER 

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