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    Tajikistan to hold rotating presidency in Eurasec in 2008-1

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    (Adds Putin's quotes in paras. 7-8, 10)

    DUSHANBE, October 6 (RIA Novosti) - Tajikistan will hold a rotating chair in the Eurasian Economic Community (Eurasec) in 2008 and its leader will supervise the work of the organization, the Russian president said Saturday.

    "At the meeting of heads of state in a narrow framework we decided to choose Tajikistan and President Emomali Rakhmon to chair Eurasec," President Putin said at the session of the Intergovernmental Council of the Eurasec in Tajikistan.

    Earlier the leaders of the regional organization selected Tair Mansurov, a governor of North Kazakhstan Region and a former Kazakh ambassador to Russia, as a new secretary general of Eurasec. He will replace Grigory Rapota, from Belarus, who headed the organization since October 2001.

    A document on the budget policy, signed Saturday by the leaders of the organization's member states, said that in 2008 Eurasec is set to focus on the formation of a Customs Union and a single economic and transport space as well as of a common energy market.

    The participants of the summit also agreed to hold a next meeting of the Intergovernmental Council of Eurasec in Moscow in May or June while Russia proposed to select a permanent place for holding regular Eurasec summits in the future.

    "Russia made a proposal to think about it. We will continue our meeting in an informal format as we have a concrete proposal. I believe that it [the proposal] will be acceptable," Putin said.

    On the whole, the Russian president positively assessed the session of Eurasec and the role of the organization in the integration on the post-Soviet area.

    "I want to point to effective results of the Eurasec Intergovernmental Council session and to the concluded intergovernmental agreements aimed to enhance legal basis of the Customs Union," Putin said.

    Earlier in the day Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed a package of agreements on the legal basis of the Customs Union, including the formation of a customs union commission, a common customs area, and the order of membership.

    "Eurasec is a strong, dynamic and developing organization. We have made a very important and qualitative step within the framework of integration processes on the post-Soviet area," the Russian president said adding that other Eurasec members expressed their interest in joining in the future the agreements on the Customs Union.

    Eurasec is an international economic organization, consisting of Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan. Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine have an observer status.

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