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Anti-personnel landmines: Central Asian conference

18-06-1997 News Release 97/23

The government of Turkmenistan hosted Central Asia's first-ever conference on means of achieving a global ban on anti-personnel mines, from 10 to 12 June in Ashgabat. The conference was opened by Turkmenistan's Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Boris Shikhmyradov, who declared his country's strong support for the Ottawa process aimed at concluding a treaty by the end of 1997 to outlaw anti-personnel mines.

The conference brought together representatives of the five Central Asian States (Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) as well of Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan, Russia and Turkey to consider the human and social costs of landmines in the region, international efforts to bring about a ban and means of stepping up mine clearance and assistance for the victims. An expert from the ICRC's delegation in Tashkent attended the conference and addressed the assembled representatives on international humanitarian law as well as treatment and rehabilitation for mine victims.