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CIS leaders conclude talks in Moscow on organization's reform

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Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose confederation of former Soviet republics, concluded discussions on reforming the organization Saturday in Moscow's Kremlin.
MOSCOW, July 22 (RIA Novosti) - Leaders of the Commonwealth of Independent States, a loose confederation of former Soviet republics, concluded discussions on reforming the organization Saturday in Moscow's Kremlin.

After the meeting, part of an informal CIS summit attended by eight of the countries' leaders, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev outlined proposals he had put forward for a new program to reform structures of the CIS.

The Central Asian leader told journalists he had proposed five areas in which to develop CIS cooperation: immigration policy, transport, education, means of countering modern-day threats, and humanitarian problems.

After discussions with the other seven leaders, new proposals were also put forward, namely a unified approach to international issues, and a shared defense policy.

"Decisions should be taken that are satisfactory to all parties. There should not be states that are not in agreement, and do not sign [documents]... Decisions should be reached by consensus, and should be binding for all sides," Nazarbayev said.

Leaders of eight of the 11 CIS states (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan) arrived in Moscow Friday.

The presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, and Armenia - Mikheil Saakashvili, Viktor Yushchenko and Robert Kocharyan - announced Friday they would not attend the event.

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