Turkmenistan – Azerbaijan: Eurasian scales of cooperation
High-level talks between President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev who arrived to the country on official visit was held in Turkmen capital.
In the morning, the motorcade of the Head of Azerbaijan escorted by motorcyclists proceeded to the Independence Square where official greeting ceremony of high-rank guest took place.
The President of Azerbaijan was warmly and cordially welcomed by the President of Turkmenistan. Having shaken hands, the leaders of two countries went to special podium.
The commander of the Guard of Honour company made official report. National anthems of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan were played. The leaders of two countries walked along the line of the Guard of Honour. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov introduced the members of official delegation of Turkmenistan to his colleagues. High-rank guest also met the heads of diplomatic corps accredited in our country. in his turn, President Ilham Aliyev introduced the members of representative delegation of Azerbaijan to the Head of Turkmenistan.
In the end of the ceremony, the soldiers of the Guard of Honour ceremonially marched across the Independence Square.
Thereafter, the motorcade of the heads of the states proceeded to Oguzkhan President Palace Complex escorted by the horsemen.
After traditional photographing ceremony on the background of the State flags of Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, bilateral high-level talks were held in one-on-one and format.
Cordially greeting high-rank guest, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the gratitude to the colleague from Azerbaijan for the attention to the development of interstate relations, which are based on primordial traditions of friendship, historical and cultural commonality that unites two neighbouring nations.
Turkmen leader noted that Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan also cooperate successfully in international arena demonstrating similarity of positions in topical issues of regional and global agenda. The Head of the State expressed the confidence that while based on solid foundation and having considerable potential, Turkmen – Azeri cooperation would be continued to be developed for common sake including in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals announced by the United Nations.
Having expressed the gratitude to Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the invitation to pay official visit to Ashgabat and cordial welcome, President Ilham Aliyev noted that bilateral partnership has wide opportunities, which implementation meets the interests of fraternal nations that historically related by goodwill and affinity.
Azerbaijan is sincerely excited with the achievements of friendly Turkmenistan. High-rank guest said, having highlighted that his visit aims at further improvement of fruitful interstate cooperation in all directions. Having noted constructive character of Turkmen – Azeri dialog, the Head of Azerbaijan has also expressed the confidence that cooperation between our countries would be continued both in bilateral formats and under competent international organizations.
During the talks, which were held in friendly and trustful atmosphere, the Heads of two states discussed wide spectrum of subjects of Turkmen – Azeri relations, which have entered qualitatively new level gaining the character of strategic partnership. Having focused on key directions of cooperation built on the principles of equal rights, mutual benefit and long-term perspective, Presidents Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Ilham Aliyev noted that efficient implementation of multidimensional potential of cooperation meets the purposes of common prosperity.
The sides have also exchanged the views on topical objectives of regional and international agenda that present mutual interest.
Thereafter, the talks were continued in extended format with the participation of official delegations of two countries.
Having again welcomed President Ilham Aliyev and all members of Azerbaijan delegation in Ashgabat, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed the gratitude to his colleague for accepted invitation to pay official visit to Turkmenistan. The Head of the State highlighted that our country pays great attention to this visit considering it as logical continuation of the collaboration in strengthening of bilateral relations of goodwill, respect, expansion and diversification of trade and economic, humanitarian and cultural cooperation, improvement of the partnership in the world arena.
Regarding interstate political dialog, it is distinguished by the similarity and proximity of the approaches to key subjects of global agenda especially to the provision of stability and security in the region and in the world. We are thankful to Azerbaijan for permanent support of international initiatives of neutral Turkmenistan, the Head of the State highlighted, having noted that both countries traditionally support each other in the world arena actively cooperating under competent international organizations including the UN and the OSCE. Our countries also intend to continue the partnership in counteraction against such challenges and threat of the present day as terrorism, illegal drug trafficking and transboundary crime.
Having mentioned the cooperation in Caspian Sea, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted the importance of the Convention on Legal Status of Caspian Sea, which was recently adopted by the coastal states. It also opens great opportunities for the expansion of Turkmen – Azeri cooperation, further consolidation of the efforts for improvement of the status of Caspian Sea as the sea of peace, friendship and goodwill.
Turning to the subjects of bilateral trade and economic relations, Turkmen leader noted actual role of Joint Intergovernmental Commission in their development and expansion of the variety of goods, having spoken for the activation of its activity as well as stated with delight steadfast dynamics of trade turnover between the countries, which is indicated by the outcomes of 9 months of the year exceeding similar results of the last year.
Positive tendency of cooperation is observed in different spheres including in agriculture, construction and industrial sector. Turkmenistan is also interested in cooperation with Azerbaijan in the sphere of advanced technologies, which is topical in the context of global processes in transition to digital economy.
Transport sphere with wide perspectives for consolidation of the efforts in creation and development of transit, transport and logistic infrastructure is strategic direction of Turkmen – Azeri partnership. Speaking of this, the Head of the State has brought the Agreement on Afghanistan – Turkmenistan – Azerbaijan – Georgia – Turkey (Lazuli Route) transport corridor with the entry to Europe as an example. In this regard, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has also noted established fruitful contacts with profile international structures as the TRACECA, International Road Transport Union (IRU) and other.
In this sphere, both Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have modern including port infrastructure, which implies the perspectives for establishment of efficient cooperation in automobile ferry and railway ferry communication and formation of ramified logistic network.
Strong reserve potential for bilateral cooperation is available in energy sector and we stand for the integration in these subjects including on regional level, the President of Turkmenistan noted. Good opportunities are opened in this sphere for the formation of multi optional system of energy carriers’ export and joint entry of international markets.
Humanitarian sphere is an integral and important part of interstate dialog, which is caused by the communality of historical and spiritual roots and cultural traditions uniting our nations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted. At the modern stage, we pay great attention to further development of cooperation in education and science as well as to strengthening of the contacts in tourism and sports, all of these meet the priorities of fraternal Turkmen – Azeri relations and would serve for the sake of the future generations.
The Head of the State said that as is known, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan pay great attention to the protection and development of national carpet making art. In this aspect, the proposals on organization of the carpet exhibition as well as topical International conference seem to be appropriate.
Returning to the subject of economic partnership, the Head of the State noted that there are good prepositions for the intensification of business relations between private structures of both countries, particularly in small and medium business. One of the documents, which is planned to be signed, is to support this subject, the Head of Turkmenistan said, having expressed the gratitude to Azerbaijan side for active approach to cooperation.
Therefore, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted, our countries demonstrate invariable commitment to fruitful constructive partnership, which from the beginning has a spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and trust.
Having expressed the confidence that the visit of Azerbaijan leader would give new strong impulse to bilateral cooperation in all subjects of the agenda of the talks, the Head of Turkmenistan addressed the wishes of health and success in the government activity to high-rank guest and all the best to fraternal people of Azerbaijan.
The floor was given to the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Having expressed the gratitude to Turkmen leader again for the hospitality, the Head of neighbouring state noted that he is glad to visit friendly Turkmenistan again. High-rank guest said that he had an opportunity to see the achievements of our country, which indicate its confident steadfast development.
Having congratulated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and fraternal Turkmen people on impressive success on the way of creativity, President Ilham Aliyev highlighted that Azerbaijan also pays great importance to current visit. Having noted that big package of documents is planned to be signed by the outcomes of current negotiations, high-rank guest expressed the confidence that these documents would be implemented on time by thus supporting the establishment of the best conditions for cooperation.
Azerbaijan pays great attention to the relations with Turkmenistan, which foundation is based on common history, spiritual and cultural roots and proximity of neighbouring nations. Increasing the potential of interstate partnership, our country also actively cooperate supporting each other in international structures, which in its turn supports the consolidation of regional security and stability. Today, these subjects acquire special appropriateness. Therefore, it is very important that today, Azerbaijan and Turkmensitan demonstrate high level of stable development, which indicates the right direction of chosen course, President Ilham Aliyev noted.
The cooperation between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan has wide spectrum of directions and many important subjects of bilateral partnership, which discussion would be continued with the participation of the delegations, have been reviewed during one-on-one meeting, high-rank guest said. The main vectors and priorities of future cooperation have been outlined, the leader of Azerbaijan continued, having noted the presence of opportunities for further growth of the trade turnover, increment of export of Turkmen goods to Azerbaijan and vice versa.
In this context, President Ilham Aliyev spoke for support of the proposal of Turkmen leader Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on activation of work of Intergovernmental Commission for steadfast implementation of achieved agreements.
Returning to the subject of the document prepared to be signed and defining the vectors of development of bilateral cooperation, the Head of neighbouring state noted the necessity to develop the action plan for their implementation. Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan have significant natural reserves including hydrocarbons. Therefore, energy sector is important direction of the partnership between our countries. Azerbaijan provides transit capabilities for Turkmen energy resources.
Having outlined transport sphere as one of the main directions of Turkmen – Azeri cooperation, high-rank guest mentioned that the delegation of his country includes the heads of all transport structures of Azerbaijan, which already actively work with Turkmen colleagues.
Summing up what was said, the Leader of Azerbaijan highlighted that priority subjects of bilateral and multilateral including regional cooperation have been discussed during current meeting. There are favourable perspectives for efficient consolidation of efforts, which meet common interests.
Having expressed total satisfaction with the talks, President Ilham Aliyev expressed the confidence that in general, the outcomes of current visit would serve to better rapprochement of two countries and nations. Having again expressed the gratitude for warm welcome, the Head of Azerbaijan wished strong health and further success in large-scale activity to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and peace and prosperity to fraternal people of Turkmenistan.
Signing ceremony of bilateral documents has taken place upon the completion of extended talks.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and ilham Aliyev have signed Joint Declaration under the applauses of the participants.
After the ceremony, the Head of two countries made statement to the representatives of mass media.
The President of Turkmenistan gave official lunch in honour of high-rank guest where the Heads of two States exchanged the speeches.
After official reception, having completed the programme of official visit to our country, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev proceeded to International Airport of the capital and left Ashgabat.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan