President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov: Our region is an energy, transport and transit centre of international significance
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who is currently on a working visit to Tashkent took part in the second consultative meeting of the Heads of Central Asian states.
In the afternoon, the Head of the State went to the Kuksaroy Palace, which was a place of the Summit. President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov, President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and the First President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev have also come to Tashkent for participation in the Consultative meeting of the Heads of Central Asian states.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was greeted by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev in the hall of the Kuksaroy Palace. The leaders of two countries exchanged friendly handshakes.
After traditional ceremony of photographing against the official banner of the Summit and the State Flags of the member countries, five-sided high-level meeting in narrow format took place in the small hall of the Kuksaroy Palace.
Opening the meeting, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that current Summit reflects the intent of the nations of Central Asia to intensify partnership, to strengthen friendship and goodwill, to joitn solution of common problems, having expressed confidence that its outcomes would serve to promotion of multilateral constructive cooperation in the region.
After, the participants of the Consultative meeting have discussed the subjects of the agenda related to expansion of regional cooperation in political, trade and economic, investment, transport and communication, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres as well as exchanged the opinions of actual aspects of international problems and provision of security in the region.
Having expressed gratitude to President Shavkat Mirziyoyev for excellent conditions for joint work, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that the agenda of the Consultative meeting includes number of subject, each of which is very important for the states of the region and requires taking of actual measures.
The Head of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that in this format, the sides would be able to discuss all planned subjects in constructive way and to reach understanding and to come to greed decisions.
Turkmen leader stated that in the last few years our countries made many things in the context of strengthening of cooperation in key directions of social and economic development of Central Asia, provision of stability and security in the region, establishment of partnership with other states, organizations and associations.
Five-sided consultations on the level of foreign ministries became regular. It allows coordinating the activity in the world arena and under international organizations more effectively and understanding each other’s interests and goals better. Turkmenistan welcomes such practice and considers that it has to be continued, the spectrum and subjects of such meetings have to be expanded.
It has special importance in the context of consolidation of efforts of our states for provision of stability and security in the region, creation of conditions of its rapid economic integration to the world processes, implementation of major projects with participation of foreign investors, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted.
Central Asia is an intersection place of Eurasian transport routes and energy flows, the world reservoir of hydrocarbon materials. Therefore, establishment of regional infrastructure of transport, logistics, energy and communication is an important subject of cooperation.
It is a strategic goal to turn the region into an integrated part and shortest and beneficial part of transport, logistic and energy routes along the East – West and Asia - Europe directions.
It is obvious that active expansion of foreign relations is an important factor in this case. They are already available. Formats like Central Asia + European Union, Central Asia + USA, Central Asia + Russia are already working. Stable dialog of our states with Japan and the Republic of Korea has been established. There is an interest in such format of cooperation with our region from other countries, the Head of the State noted.
All of these indicates the understanding of importance of Central Asia, growing interest in cooperation in different directions by foreign partners. We, being responsible states, do implement such cooperation for the interests of our nations and continental and global stability and development, the President said.
In this regard, current meeting allows specifying directions of cooperation with international structures and certain states, giving relative directions to foreign departments of the member states.
Regulation of the situation in Afghanistan is an integral factor of stable conflict free development of the region. We are all interested in soonest completion of confrontation, reaching of reconciliation and agreement in this country. it is obvious that it can be reached only by peaceful political methods, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted.
Being close neighbours of Afghanistan, we make big input to this process, provide significant economic and humanitarian aid to Afghan nation, which is highly appreciated by the government of this country. continuation of our efforts in this direction, cooperation with international organizations, especially with the UN, are important factors of regulation of the situation and social and economic rehabilitation of Afghanistan, the Head of the State said.
Counteraction of ecological risks through the implementation of standards of ‘green’ economy, compliance with ecological requirements in production activity are priroty vectors in five-side partnership. Turkmen leader noted that efficient coordination of joint efforts would help to preserve unique nature of Central Asia and provide high standards of life quality of the population.
Saving of Aral Sea is a separate problem in this context, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov continued. Coordinated decisions on this problem will give necessary impulses to International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea, establishment of productive cooperation between the IFAS and the United Nations Organization and other international structures.
Water resources are common heritage of Central Asian nations. The access to water resources is fundamental right of human. Weighted, responsible and far-seeing approaches, commitment to the principles of justice and interests of each other are the guarantee of our successful cooperation in water management, fulfilment of national and regional plans of sustainable development, provision of food abundance, the Head of the State highlighted.
Humanitarian cooperation, restoration and popularization of rich historical heritage of Central Asian nations, making of conditions for wide cultural exchange in the region were outlined among the main objectives. The government support of cultural, scientific, educational dialog is an important factor of intellectual development of the region and one of conditions of revealing of human potential.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that current Consultative meeting, which is held in the atmosphere of transparency, understanding and trust, reflects common intent to improve friendship, goodwill and cooperation of five fraternal countries and nations.
We have enormous human, economic and resource potential, political will and resolution to work together for achievement of common goal – turning of our region into peaceful and prosperous territory, reliable partner of international community, place of cooperation and understanding, Turkmen leader highlighted, having wished fruitful work to all delegations.
After, the Consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian states was continued in extended format in the Big Conference Hall of the Kuksaroy Palace
The floor was given to the participants of the Summit.
Having expressed gratitude to his Uzbek colleagues for hospitality and conditions for fruitful joint work, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that current meeting marks another important stage in cooperation between Central Asian states, which is to provide necessary conditions for its stable development, establishment of effective mechanisms of cooperation between our countries, formation of models of integration of the region into the world processes as deserved and equal partner.
These objectives are vitally important for all of us and in this case, the format of High-level Consultative meetings is not just justified but also required and urgent, Turkmen leader highlighted.
Speaking of this, the Head of the State expressed confidence that constructivism, aim to joint work, understanding of similarity and sharing of fortunes of fraternal nations and states and resolution to achieve necessary results together are determining factors in the relations between Central Asian countries.
Setting high targets, we understand that firm and long peace, security and stability in the region are the main terms of their achievement, the President continued. It is worth saying that many things have been done for this recently.
Mechanisms of political consultations on the level of foreign ministries of five states of regular bases started working. Specific issues of regional agenda, especially those related to security, are discussed at these meetings. Turkmen leader noted that this format of consultations can be improved by closer and more coordinated activities for Central Asian countries in the UN and OSCE.
It is necessary to establish systematic mechanisms of five-side consultation with clear priorities in these structures in order our delegations have clear targets, agreed positions on the subjects that have regional importance and defend these positions relying on support of each other and attracting supporters from other states, the Head of Turkmenistan emphasized.
Our countries have to act together in such serious subject as regional security demonstrating accountability and resolution to provide peace and stability at home, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted.
In this context, joint activity for support of reconciliation processes in Afghanistan receives special importance, the President stated, having confirmed the position of Turkmenistan, which has been repeatedly announced previously.
As a neutral state and close neighbour, our country is willing to provide all necessary conditions for organization of direct contacts between all parties, which are interested in peaceful and political regulation of the situation in Afghanistan, Turkmen leader noted, having expressed confidence there is no an alternative to negotiation process.
Realization of major infrastructural projects with participation of Afghanistan especially in such vital spheres as energy, transport and communication are the main terms of political stabilization, economic and social rehabilitation of Afghanistan and its successful integration to regional and world economic processes.
Steadily working in this direction, Turkmenistan initiated number of big regional projects, part of which has been successfully accomplished. We plan to continue working on realization of important projects with participation of Afghanistan, other neighbouring countries and would welcome other central Asian countries to joint this process, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted.
The Head of the state said that interest in central Asia form foreign economic and political centres grows every year, which is natural. Our region moves rapidly to the category of one of the energy, transport and transit centres of the world significance, presence of colossal natural resources, benefits of geographic location are objective factors, which are attractive for serious investments and implementation of major projects.
At the same time, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed confidence that economic attractiveness of Central Asia for big foreign companies, investment funds and separate states would grow with the time.
Our goal is to make everything possible in order the region to meet modern requirements of healthy economic competitions, to become an integral part of the world economic processes as equal and efficient partner.
For this purpose, Central Asian countries have to take an initiative role in establishment of modern energy, transport and transit infrastructure in the region, the Head of Turkmenistan continued, having also noted attraction of big foreign investors is required for achievement of this target.
It is important for the states of the region to build long-term strategy of cooperation with foreign partners based on commonality of interests and perspectives. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that it is good that 5 + cooperation has been significantly activated in the last few years.
There are formats of cooperation between five Central Asia states and European Union, United States of America, Russia, Japan, the Republic of Korea. There is an interest to such format from other leading countries of the world. The agenda of such meetings is quite extensive and varied, however, economics, energy, transport and logistics occupy the main place at such meetings.
In this context, importance of activation of the dialog with partners in mentioned direction, to carry it out purposefully, to prove benefits and perspectives of long-term investments to infrastructure of the region, to use the levers of specialized international structures more effectively has been highlighted.
Industry, transport and energy were the main subjects of the First Caspian Economic Forum in Turkmenistan last august. The decisive role of Caspian region and neighbouring zones, first of all Central Asia, in formation of strategic belt of transport, transit and energy partnership in the East – West, Asia – Europe directions has been noted.
Speaking of this, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that the states of the region, which have no direct exit the world ocean, have to use capabilities of port infrastructure of Eastern Caspian region for export of their products to the markets of Europe, Russia, Caucasus, Middle and Far East. Turkmenistan is willing to provide its port facilities on beneficial terms.
In this regard, the Head of Turkmenistan stated that capabilities of regional transport communication are not used in full volume. However, there are evidences of joint implementation of number of projects in this sphere.
It is too early to speak about systematic work for turning of Central Asia into modern combined and efficient transportation hub. It is necessary to concentrate on these projects, to consolidate our efforts in development of transport and transit corridors and logistics, the President highlighted.
The Head of Turkmenistan noted that partnership in the sphere of innovative development and high technologies is a topical subject of cooperation today.
In this regard, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed confidence that there is a potential of innovative growth, excellent scientific schools, advanced technological developments in all countries of Central Asia without exclusion. It is necessary to consolidate efforts in this direction, to give expressive innovative character to the economies of our countries.
The Head of the State proposed to think of establishment of five-side Business Council for giving of systematic character to regional cooperation in trade, economic, energy, transport, logistic and innovative spheres.
Such structure could have assumed the functions of the centre for formation of unified strategy of the states of the region for priority directions of economic partnership, to make relative recommendation to the government, to develop specific proposals on investment agenda of cooperation with foreign business circles.
Provision of stable development of Central Asia, improvement of life quality of the population of our countries are directly connected with solution of ecological objectives in the region where saving of Aral Sea is one of the main, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov underscored. Joint efforts in this sphere have been discussed in details and certain agreements have been reached at the Summit of the Heads of the state founders of International Fund for Saving of Aral Sea in Turkmenbashy in August last year.
Thus, important steps on the way of improvement of activity of the Fund and improvement of its efficiency have been made. It is necessary to move in this direction, to involve potential of the world community, first of all the UN and its specialized agencies more actively.
In this context, the Head of Turkmenistan spoke for continuation of the initiative about development of the UN Special Programme for Aral Sea basin and allocation of Aral Sea problem in separate direction of activity of the United Nations.
Saving of Aral Sea is not a subject of practical character. This is our duty for history and memory. Central Asian civilization, our identity have been formed up on the coast of Aral Sea, Turkmen leader noted, having expressed confidence in the necessity to make everything possible in order to bring future to Aral Sea.
In his speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov touched upon such topical subject for the countries of the region as protection and use of water resources. The Head of Turkmenistan highlighted the importance of consolidation of efforts on common platform, principles of provision of equal and fair access to water resources as responsibility of every state.
Secondary, local interests and benefits have to be replaced by the understanding of regional goals and priorities and development of single strategy of activities in long-term perspective, Turkmen leader said.
The position of Turkmenistan is well known. We consider that review and solution of water problems have to be based on recognized standards of international law, mutual respect and consideration of interests of all countries of the region with participation of specialized international organizations, the President highlighted.
Solving important political, economic, technological, ecological objectives, which are to provide deserved place for Central Asia in XXI century, we relies on common civilization foundation, unique type of relations between our nations, which was formed up throughout the centuries.
It includes commonality and proximity of culture, traditions, values and moral senses. Encouraging wide humanitarian contacts, developing cultural relations, we provide succession of traditions of goodwill, understanding and sympathy to each other for our nations, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov highlighted.
Cultural intelligentsia of the countries of the region is to play the main role in this process. It could have make an initiative of creation of prepositions for launch of regional cultural dialog on systematic and regular base, Turkmen leader said, having offered to name it as Forum of Cultural Dialog of Central Asia.
The objective of this Forum is in establishment of integrated comprehensive cooperation of cultural societies of our countries, popularization of rich spiritual and historical heritage of the nations of Central Asia, modern achievements in literature, art, cinematography, encouragement of wide youth contacts, the President noted.
Turkmenistan is committed to development and improvement of fraternal relations with all countries of Central Asia. We clearly see the potential and perspectives of our cooperation in political and security sphere, economy and trade, ecology, science, culture and education.
We are united by common goals, steadily move toward their implementation, Turkmen leader highlighted, having expressed confidence that current meeting would open new opportunities for this.
After, the floor was taken by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev who, having expressed gratitude President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for informative speech, noted the importance of initiatives proposed by the Head of Turkmenistan, which meet actual goals of regional cooperation and aimed at further active development for common interest.
Joint Statement has been made by the outcomes of the Consultative meeting of the Heads of Central Asian states.
On the same day, the heads of the states took part in joint ceremony of planting of trees in the park of honoured guests of the Kuksaroy State Residence, which has become an original symbol of friendship and goodwill relations connecting the nations of five countries.
In the afternoon, the heads of the states went to the Memorial Complex of the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov. In the solemn atmosphere, the President of Central Asian states laid flowers to the monument of prominent politician paying tribute to the memory of outstanding government official of Uzbekistan.
Upon the completion of the programme of working visit, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov went to Islam Karimov Internatioanl Airport, from where left for the Motherland.
Onboard, the Head of the State discussed aspects of solution of objectives for intensification of Turkmen – Uzbek cooperation with some Deputy Chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Advisor of the President of Turkmenistan on Oil and Gas Affairs, which were discussed at the meeting of Turkmen leader with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
Special attention has been paid to the agreements reached at the Consultative meeting of the heads of Central Asian states and initiatives of our country proposed at the Summit. Importance of this meeting for further development of economies of the countries of the region and establishment of discussion platform in such format where the leaders would be able to discuss subjects presenting mutual interest and propose common agenda has been highlighted.
Foreign policy of Turkmenistan, which is based on peace-loving and principles of positive neutrality, sets strengthening and expansion of beneficial cooperation as the main objective, the Head of the State noted.
Having focused on the aspects of activity of the Foreign Ministry of the country, the President pointed out the necessity to elaborate on current direction of cooperation with Central Asian states taking into account geopolitical and economic capabilities o the region for creation of prepositions of its full-scale integration to the world market.
The President stated with delight dynamic development of cooperation of Turkmenistan with neighbouring Uzbekistan including in agricultural sphere. Our country shows interest in procurement of agricultural equipment made in the Republic of Uzbeksitan.
Having noted positive practice of such cooperation, the Head of the State ordered to review the opportunity of its expansion and procurement of new models of high productive equipment, which meets climate conditions of our country.
Continuing conversation about perspectives of Turkmen – Uzbek cooperation in trade and economic, scientific, technical and cultural spheres, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov gave order to define the most required directions of partnership in science and education.
It is necessary to develop direct relations with scientific and research institutes of the Academy of Sciences and other educational facilities of Uzbekistan, the Head of the State noted.
The President has also highlighted the necessity to intensify cooperation in fuel and energy sphere with the countries of Central Asian region. It is important in the relation with gas line from Turkmenistan to China, part of which run across Uzbekistan.
It was highlighted that realization of joint projects in fuel and energy complex and in transport and transit section provides the development of relations between two countries and makes platform for their full involvement to the world economic system.
Having noted new perspective of cooperation in Central Asia, the Head of the State highlighted that subjects reviewed at the Consultative Meeting are current for every country participating in the Summit, which is set out in Joint Statement made by its outcomes.
Summing up what was said at the meeting onboard the aircraft, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov outlined specific objectives of the Government and wished success in their solution.
Upon arrival to Ashgabat International Airport, the Head of the State was met by officials.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan