United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Turkmenistan's capital, Ashgabat, on the first stop of a tour of five Central Asian countries.
Ban is expected today to hold talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov and to visit the UN Regional Center For Preventive Diplomacy For Central Asia and Turkmenistan's National Institute For Democracy And Human Rights, according to the Turkmen government website, turkmenistan.gov.tm.
From Turkmenistan, Ban is due to travel on to Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kazakhstan in the coming days.
The United Nations has said Ban's trip is expected to focus on regional cooperation, disarmament, efforts to combat climate change, and promoting development to reduce poverty.
Human rights advocates have also expressed hope that Ban will address rights concerns during his meetings with Central Asian leaders.