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Chisinau, 5 May 2005 (RFE/RL) -- The Uzbek government has informed Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin that the country is formally pulling out of GUUAM.

Moldovan Foreign Minister Andrei Stratan, whose country chairs the regional cooperation organization, said today he has received official confirmation from Tashkent through diplomatic channels.

RFE/RL reports that Stratan also confirmed that Uzbekistan had announced its intention to formally leave the organization during a GUUAM summit last month in Chisinau.

GUUAM was set up in 1997 by Georgia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, and Moldova with a view to enhancing energy and economic cooperation among its founding members. Uzbekistan joined two years later.

Uzbekistan last month regretted that GUUAM had turned into what it said was a "political organization." Tashkent effectively ceased to participate into the organization's work in 2002.
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