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    PUTIN SIGNS PROTOCOL ON RUSSIA'S ACCESSION TO CENTRAL ASIAN COOPERATION ORGANIZATION

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    MOSCOW, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a protocol on Russia's accession to the Central Asian Cooperation Organization (CACO), the Kremlin press service reported. The organization was established by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan on February 28, 2002.

    The protocol implies further consolidation and development of many-sided cooperation in all spheres between the Russian Federation and Central Asian countries on the basis of our friendship and good-neighborly relations.

    The Russian Federation and CACO countries are striving for formation of an effective stability system in Central Asia and for promotion of integration and interaction meeting our common interests and particular interests of each state.

    In compliance with article 1 of the protocol, Russia joins the Central Asian Cooperation Organization and assumes all relevant rights and obligations.

    In June 2000 at a summit of the Central Asian Economic Community Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov proposed to reform this organization. His initiative was supported and a corresponding presidential statement was issued to this effect in December 2001.

    The Central Asian Cooperation Organization tackles economic, political and cultural-humanitarian spheres. CACO gives much attention to the formation of common economic space, energy cooperation and regional integration development.

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