President Margvelashvili Expresses Sorrow over the Death of a Georgian Soldier in Afghanistan
The President of Georgia, H.E. Giorgi Margvelashvili has expressed sorrow over the death of the Junior Sergeant from Georgia, Mdinari Bebiashvili in Bagram airfield territory, Afghanistan. Mr. Bebiashvili was participating in the Resolute Support Mission.
"I bow before each and every person who serves the homeland; who has sacrificed own life; who has been separated from families.
I show my respect for these militaries and express gratitude on behalf of Georgian citizens”, - the statement of the President reads.
President Margvelashvili has shown support to the family members, friends and companions of the deceased.
He has also wished a rapid recovery to other Georgian soldiers, wounded in the Bargam attack, who receive medical assistance in Bagram airfield hospital.
PRESS RELEASE ON THE INFORMATIONAL BRIEFING OF THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTAN
On January 16, 2021, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov held an Informational briefing in Ashgabat, dedicated to the commissioning of three infrastructure facilities - a power line in the direction of Kerki (Turkmenistan) - Sheberghan (Afghanistan), a 30-kilometer railway section between stations "Aqina-Andkhoy" and the International fiber-optic communication system and transit flows along the route Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) - Aqina (Afghanistan) and Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) - Torghundi (Afghanistan).
The event was attended by the ministers, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations working in Turkmenistan, rectors of the country's universities, chief editors of print media, representatives of national media and journalists of foreign mass media accredited in Turkmenistan. The Ambassadors of Turkmenistan in foreign countries, as well as more than 30 representatives of foreign mass media from 15 countries of the world took part in the event through videoconferencing.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan described these projects as real steps aimed at the consistent involvement of Afghanistan to regional and international economic processes, the integration of this country into the system of continental transport and logistics ties. The importance of their successful implementation was noted in the context of present and prospective bilateral, regional and international cooperation, including the positive impact on the general geo-economic and political situation in the region.
During his speech, R. Meredov emphasized that the construction of infrastructure facilities in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan, in terms of its geo-economic and geopolitical significance, transcend its regional boundaries, and in fact means the formation of a new belt of transport and communications and the energy supplies of the continental level on the Turkmen and Afghan territories, connecting the Central Asia and South Asia with Europe and the Middle East. This, in turn, is the practical embodiment of Turkmenistan’s international initiatives in the field of sustainable development in transport and energy sector, which the country proposes within UN. As examples, the construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, the construction of cross-border railways, bridges, power lines and fiber-optic communications with the participation of neighboring countries and other countries, work on the launching of the Lapis-Lazuli transport corridor along the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey route were presented.
In this context, during the briefing, the importance of cooperation with international organizations, including the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and the European Union, was noted. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan announced the conjugation of multilateral interests, the strive of partners to diversify transport and energy flows, which creates preconditions for joining the mentioned projects of a number of integration associations, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Commonwealth of Independent States. In this regard, R. Meredov stressed that the bilateral Turkmen-Afghan infrastructure projects should be considered as part of more comprehensive plans on the establishment of geo-economic space uniting the states of the region, neighboring countries, other states, and aimed at forming an integrated system of continental cooperation in Eurasia.
The head of the Foreign Ministry confirmed the firm adherence of Turkmenistan to providing comprehensive political, diplomatic and economic support to Afghanistan, which constitutes a single long-term state strategy for Turkmenistan's cooperation with this country. R. Meredov stressed that the basis of such cooperation is the reliance on the historical traditions of friendship and good-neighborliness of the two fraternal peoples, the awareness of the fact that Afghanistan is the most important and integral link of regional and continental stability and security, and the assuredness in the ability of the Afghan people and their leadership to overcome the existing difficulties and achieve peace and harmony in the country, attain its economic prosperity.
The Minister of Energy of Turkmenistan Charymyrat Purchekov, the Counselor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Turkmenistan Ahmad Tariq Noorzadeh, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalya Gherman, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd, Director of the Resident Office of the Asian Development Bank in Turkmenistan Chang Ching Yu also gave speeches at the briefing.
Speakers noted that these initiatives of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, which were implemented, contribute to an increase in the volume and expansion of the geography of electricity exports, and an increase in the transport and transit potential of the entire region. It was also noted that the commissioning of these projects contributes to the implementation of the transit and transport potential of the two states, their interaction in the energy and communication sectors, integration into the system of modern international economic relations.
At the end of the briefing, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan answered the questions of the representatives of the news agencies, in particular the “News Central Asia” (Pakistan), “TRT” (Turkey) и “Agence France Press” (France), the faculty members of the Institute of International Relations of the MFA of Turkmenistan, the International University for the Humanities and Development and local press.
THE AQINA-ANDKHOY RAILWAY LINE WAS PUT INTO OPERATION
On January 14, 2021, the inauguration of the 30-kilometer railway section between the Aqina-Andkhoy stations of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan took place.
The event was attended by the heads of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, members of governments, heads and representatives of a number of ministries and departments of the two countries, public organizations.
The Chairman of the Agency "Türkmendemirýollary" (Turkmen Railways) A. Atamuradov and the head of the Afghan Railway Authority Mohammad Yamma Shams informed the ceremony participants about the construction work.
In his speech, A. Atamuradov noted that the Aqina-Andkhoy railway branch connected with the railway system of Turkmenistan is the part of the Asian International Railway Transport Corridor and is intended to become one of the key links of the Lapis-Lazuli corridor. He spoke about the well-coordinated work of the Turkmen and Afghan railway workers who worked hard on the implementation of this project. It was noted that this and other routes initiated by the head of state contribute to building up the transport and transit potential of both Turkmenistan and the entire region, contributing to the strengthening of fruitful trade and economic cooperation.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the head of the Afghan Railway Authority Mohammad Yamma Shams noted the high level of Turkmen-Afghan cooperation in the field of transport. Yamma Shams expressed gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for assistance in the implementation of this project. He noted that the efficiency of this railway will continue to grow, creating new jobs and expanding the transport and transit potential of Afghanistan. Thus, the Aqina-Andkhoy railway line will open up new opportunities for the development of the Afghan economy and the revitalization of its small and medium-sized businesses.
During the ceremony, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave their blessing for the commissioning of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway line.
The opening of this railway branch was marked by the solemn dispatch from the Aqina station towards the city of Andkhoy of a train consisting of 20 cars loaded with export products from Turkmenistan.
At the end of the ceremony, the Turkmen and Afghan railway workers who worked hard on the construction of the facility were presented with valuable gifts on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan.
It is important to note that the Memorandum of Understanding on the construction of the Aqina-Andkhoy railway between the “Türkmendemirýollary” Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Communication of Turkmenistan and the Afghan Railway Authority was signed following the results of high-level bilateral talks held in Ashgabat in February 2019.
A new mosque was built in the township of Akina with the support of the Turkmen side
Today, on December 4, 2020, the opening of a mosque constructed in the township of Akina of the Andkhoy etrap of Faryab province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan took place as a friendly gesture from the Turkmen side to the Afghan people.
As is known, in accordance with the Resolution of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the construction of a mosque for 500 seats started on November 2018. This decision was taken within the framework of support provided by Turkmenistan to achieve stability and security in Afghanistan, including humanitarian assistance to the brotherly Afghan people.
The opening ceremony was attended by a representative Turkmen delegation headed by the Chief Mufti of the country Y. Khojagulyev, which also included the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Turkmenistan to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan H. Ovezov, Consul of Turkmenistan in the city of Mazar-i-Sharif B. Kabaev, imams of Mary and Lebap velayats of the country and representatives of the Turkmen media.
On behalf of the Afghan side, the ceremony was attended by the Minister of Hajj and Islamic Affairs Mohammad Qasim Halimi, khyakim of Jovzjan province Lotfullah Azizi, khyakim of Faryab Nakibullah Faik province, representatives of the above Ministry and the IRA Foreign Ministry branch in Mazar-i-Sharif, representatives of departments and state services of the township of Aqina , as well as numerous Turkmens living in these regions.
The opening of the mosque on the eve of the 25th anniversary of the permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan is especially symbolic. Turkmenistan, being a neutral state, whose status is enshrined in the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, is doing a tremendous job to promote political and diplomatic, trade-economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation in the entire region.
Turkmenistan pays great attention to the stable development of the neighboring country and renders fraternal solidarity and active support in its integration into the peaceful course of development.
Also, today, in honor of the opening of a new spiritual facility for the Afghan people, a humanitarian cargo was sent from Turkmenistan to the Afghan provinces of Jovzjan, Herat and Faryab, consisting of medicines and medical supplies and means, household, textile and food products produced in Turkmenistan.
A representative delegation from Turkmenistan, as well as high-ranking officials of various departments of Afghanistan, took part in the delivery ceremony of humanitarian aid in the township of Turgundi, Herat province.
Turkmenistan is convinced of the need to attract political-diplomatic tools to achieve peace and prosperity in Afghanistan
The plenary session of the High-level Conference on Afghanistan, which is being held online in Geneva, took place today.
During the meeting, the heads of foreign affairs agencies of dozens of countries of the world, including Russia, Iran, Switzerland, the USA, as well as the representatives of the UN and its divisions, the European Union and other multilateral structures gave speeches. The event was marked by the addresses of the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Secretary-General of the United Nations António Guterres.
The participants of the meeting discussed issues of cooperation between the Government of Afghanistan and the international community in achieving common interests: sustainable development, prosperity and peace in Afghanistan. In particular, the development vectors for 2021-2024, partnership coordination, as well as financial support for the Afghan administration were considered. The focus is on the development of a common political statement and financial mechanism for the economic development of this country.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov outlined the position and actions of Turkmenistan aimed at supporting the process of establishing sustainable peace in Afghanistan, including its involvement in the global economy.
It was especially emphasized that Turkmenistan is convinced of the need to involve diplomatic and political mechanisms in achieving peace in Afghanistan, which is a solid foundation for the country's socio-economic development.
As an example, R. Meredov cited a number of initiatives of the Government of Turkmenistan aimed at supporting fraternal Afghanistan. This includes the expansion of humanitarian cooperation, and the development and implementation of large regional and international infrastructure projects in the field of energy, transport, communications and much more.
At this meeting, it was noted that Turkmenistan intends to continue to provide assistance to Afghanistan and its people.
Construction of the TAPI gas pipeline in Afghanistan territory will continue next year
During the plenary session of the High Level Conference on Afghanistan, the parties discussed issues of economic cooperation.
Speaking at the event, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani spoke about the economic situation in the country. Expressing gratitude for the aspiration of the world community to facilitate the involvement of Afghanistan in the world economy, he especially noted the important contribution of Turkmenistan. Projects initiated by the Turkmen side were highlighted, in particular, the importance for Afghanistan of the construction of power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) route.
In turn, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov spoke in detail about trade and economic cooperation with neighboring Afghanistan.
He stressed that the leadership of Turkmenistan considers the regional economic integration of Afghanistan through the implementation of large-scale infrastructure projects as one of the main aspects of restoring peace in this country.
Thus, Turkmenistan has initiated a number of important economic projects with the participation of Afghanistan. The construction of the TAPI gas pipeline, electricity and communication lines along the TAP route, as well as railways connecting Turkmenistan with Afghanistan and other countries of the region continues.
The Turkmen side plans to complete the construction of TAPI on its territory this year, and start construction on the territory of Afghanistan next year. The final stage of the construction of power transmission lines and fiber-optic communications along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route was also highlighted.
“As for the railway communication, the construction by the Turkmen side of the 35-kilometer section of the Akina-Andkhoy railway should be completed in the coming days,” R. Meredov noted. In 2021, it is planned to continue the construction of the railway in the direction of Turgundi-Herat.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan informed the meeting participants about the financial component of these projects. Turkmenistan has allocated 1 billion 250 million US dollars for the implementation of projects with the participation of Afghanistan.
During the meeting, the parties discussed the issues of attracting investments and the structure of financing in the process of comprehensive reconstruction of Afghanistan.