DUSHANBE, April 2. /TASS/. Foreign ministers from the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) on Thursday gathered for a meeting in Dushanbe, capital of the former Soviet republic of Tajikistan in Central Asia.
In his welcome to participants, Sirojidin Aslov, the foreign minister of Tajikistan, which this year presides over the Russia-led military alliance of former Soviet states, said that since their last meeting in December last year, much work had been done to strengthen cooperation within the CSTO.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov is also present at the meeting. Russia’s top diplomat together with his counterparts from Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan are expected to consider reinforcing further foreign policy coordination within the group.
Particular attention will be given to enhancing cooperation between international and regional organizations and stepping up efforts to ensure security in Central Asia in the light of recent developments in Afghanistan.
Lavrov will also hold separate talks with his Tajik counterpart, Aslov, later in the day as part of the meeting of the CSTO Foreign Ministers Council. The parties "will discuss issues of further deepening strategic partnership in political, trade and economic, military, scientific, cultural and humanitarian spheres", the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
Serbia’s foreign minister and current chairman of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), Ivica Dacic, has also joined the meeting in Dushanbe at the invitation of Tajikistan.
Among those attending are also heads of the United Nations’ and the OSCE’s institutions responsible for preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution.
The ministers are preparing to issue a statement to mark the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory over Nazi Germany in World War Two. They are also due to approve a plan for consultations between representatives of the CSTO countries on foreign policy, security and defence in the second half of this year and the first half of next year, as well as a list of joint statements in 2015.