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Leaders Of Turkic-Speaking Countries To Launch New Regional Grouping

Leaders of Turkic-speaking countries are meeting in Turkey to formally launch a new regional cooperation organization that will strengthen ties between Turkey and Central Asian nations.

Leaders of Turkic-speaking countries have been meeting regularly since the early 1990s to discuss cooperation, but a decision to set up the Turkic-speaking Countries Cooperation Council (TCCC) was taken only last year.

The presidents of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan are expected to attend the meeting in Istanbul.

The president of Uzbekistan is not taking part. A Turkish career diplomat, Halil Akinci, is expected to be named secretary-general of the new Cooperation Council, which will be based in Istanbul.

with agency reports