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Turkmen Opposition Politician Allowed Into OSCE Conference


Nurmuhammet Hanamov, chairman of the Republican Party of Turkmenistan in exile

Nurmuhammet Hanamov, chairman of the Republican Party of Turkmenistan in exile

An exiled Turkmen opposition politician has gained permission to attend an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Warsaw that he initially was barred from attending, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

Annadurdy Hajiyev, a member of the opposition Watan (Fatherland) movement, who has political asylum in Bulgaria, told RFE/RL he got permission to attend the conference after two days of talks with representatives of OSCE member states.

But Turkmen opposition politician Nurmuhammet Hanamov, the founding chairman of the Republican Party of Turkmenistan in exile, said he will return to his home in Vienna because his request to attend the OSCE conference continues to be refused.

Michael Guest, head of the U.S. delegation to the OSCE meeting in Warsaw, has told RFE/RL from Warsaw that "the United States was joined by the European Union, by Norway, by Canada, [and] by Switzerland" to intercede on behalf of Hajiyev and Hanamov.

Hanamov told RFE/RL he will try to gain permission to attend the OSCE's next gatherings in Vienna and Astana, which along with the Warsaw conference are being held in preparation for the OSCE Summit in Astana set for December 1-2.

The Warsaw meeting, the OSCE's annual Conference on Human Dimension, began on September 30 and ends on October 8.

On October 5, Hanamov told RFE/RL that he and Hajiyev were not admitted to the conference in line with OSCE regulations that representatives of nongovernmental organizations may not attend if any OSCE member state objects to their presence.

Kazakhstan is the OSCE's chairman-in-office.

Hanamov said he was told the Turkmen government has identified him as belonging to a group that seeks to overthrow the government in Turkmenistan by force.

Turkmen officials threatened to boycott the Astana summit if the two men were allowed to participate in the review conferences.

Deputy OSCE spokesperson Frane Marovich told RFE/RL on October 5 that the accreditation of participants for the Warsaw meeting had been completed and the only disputed case was that of Hajiyev, who also served as a former deputy chairman of Turkmenistan's Central Bank.

Marovich said Hanamov never registered for the conference and therefore could "not gain entry."

Some 400 representatives of NGOs are participating in the review conference, which takes place in three stages over a period of two months in Warsaw, Vienna, and Astana.
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