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Interim EU-Turkmen Trade Agreement Postponed

PRAGUE -- The European Parliament has blocked an interim EU-Turkmenistan trade agreement, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.

Daniel Caspary, who represents the Christian Democratic Union, part of the European People's Party, in the EU Parliament, said at the March 26 session that the agreement would improve EU-Turkmen relations.

In the end, however, the European Parliament demanded that Turkmenistan first meet its commitments on improving human and civil rights.

Talking to RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, Dutch Labour politician Jan Marinus Wiersma of the parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs said the Turkmen government must take serious steps to improve the situation in the country in regards to human rights, press freedom, and travel restrictions.