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    COUNCIL OF CIS LEADERS WILL GATHER IN BISHKEK

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    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Issues related to the further intensification of contacts in the economic and humanitarian spheres between the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) countries will dominate an upcoming meeting of the Council of CIS Leaders in Bishkek, Kyrghyzstan, Alexander Yakovenko, the Russian foreign ministry's official spokesman, said on Tuesday.

    The leaders will also consider stepping up mutual law-enforcement contacts, added the diplomat.

    Besides, the conferees will touch on the problem of streamlining the CIS bodies' activities.

    "While discussing the package of economic issues, the conferees will look into what has been done to liberalize trade within the CIS, will assess remaining trade restrictions and hear proposals on the gradual abolishment of those restrictions," said Mr Yakovenko.

    Moreover, the CIS leaders will discuss the illegal migration problem, the fight against crime and drug trafficking, according to the diplomat.

    "They are expected to sign a decision to set up a joint commission to deal with illegal migration, which will coordinate the member-countries' actions in this sphere and work out recommendations on preventing illegal migration," said Mr Yakovenko.

    "The conferees are also expected to discuss the effort to draft a program of joint measures against crime and trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and precursors for the period from 2005 to 2007," said Mr Yakovenko.

    A comprehensive program for the rehabilitation of veterans of wars and regional conflicts, and victims of terrorist acts will be prominent among the humanitarian issues on the meeting agenda.

    The conferees are expected to sign a series of documents, including an agreement on the CIS truck weight certificate, which is designed to facilitate border crossing within the Commonwealth and speed up truck shipments. The meeting will also bring forth an agreement on cooperation in book publishing and sales, and printing trades, which will foster cultural exchanges, according to Mr Yakovenko.

    Besides, the conferees will elaborate on the distribution of authority between the Council of CIS Leaders, the Council of CIS Foreign Ministers and the CIS Economic Council as part of the CIS Executive Committee's effort to streamline the CIS bodies' activities.

    The leaders will adopt a decision to establish a stabilization fund to ensure the uninterrupted financing of the CIS bodies in the event of incomplete and delayed fee transfers, according to the Russian diplomat.

    "The meeting is expected to elect a new chairman of the Council of the CIS Heads of Government. Moldovan Prime Minister Vasile Tarlev has been advanced for the post. Kyrghyz Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev and Russian Premier Mikhail Fradkov will be appointed council co-chairman in accordance with the relevant regulations," said Mr Yakovenko.

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