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European Parliamentarian Says Turkmen Trade Agreement On Track

A European Parliament member says the suspension of a vote on an important trade agreement between the EU and Turkmenistan is not due to a problem with Turkmenistan but rather a problem regarding the "division of power" between EU institutions.

Daniel Caspary, an EU parliamentarian from Germany, told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that the EU needs to sign an Interim Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan as a signal to Ashgabat that it wants to build trust between the two sides.

He added that there is a greater chance for reform in Turkmenistan if better trade and political relations with the EU exist.

Caspary -- who has written a report about Turkmenistan -- says the European Parliament will vote on April 2 during its plenary session about the trade agreement.

It was to vote on the measure last week before it was postponed, leading many to think the EU was unhappy with the deal.