MEETING OF THE FOREIGN MINISTERS OF TURKMENISTAN AND GEORGIA
On the 7th of September, 2020, a meeting between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani was held through videoconferencing.
During the talks, the Ministers discussed the key issues of bilateral agenda and underlined the high level of political-diplomatic dialogue between the two countries. It was noted that Turkmenistan and Georgia successfully cooperate in the framework of international organizations, in particular the United Nations. The parties highlighted the necessity of continuing inter-MFA and intersectoral consultations.
The Ministers considered the collaboration on the development of joint transport and transit routes. Special accent was made on the activation of the project of the International Transit-Transport Route “Caspian Sea – Black Sea,” including the normative-legal aspect of it. The importance of the Lapis Lazuli project was also underlined in the context of acceleration of interregional trade and economic collaboration. The significance of uninterrupted transportation and supply through the effective use of automobile routes and seaports was stated. Hereby, the necessity of holding the successive meeting of the Joint Intergovernmental Turkmen-Georgian Commission for Economic Cooperation was voiced.
During the videoconference, the opportunities of intensification of cultural and humanitarian cooperation were also discussed.
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.
INSTALLATION OF INTERNATIONAL FIBER-OPTIC COMMUNICATION LINES FROM TURKMENISTAN TO AFGHANISTAN – ON THE WAY TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF INFORMATIONAL BRIDGE AMONG THE COUNTRIES OF THE WORLD
The installation of international fiber-optic communication lines and transit flows on route Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) – Aqina (Afghanistan) and Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) - Torghundi (Afghanistan), has also took place during the inauguration ceremony of electric power transmission line along Kerki – Sheberghan route and the 30 km long railway line between Aqina-Andkhoy stations today.
The Chairman of «Türkmenaragatnaşyk» (Turkmen communication) agency Hadjimyrat Hudayguliyev and the Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mrs. Masoumeh Khavari addressed the ceremony where the Heads of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan have been participating. They told the ceremony participants about the features of present communication system and reported on its readiness to launch.
During the event, H.Hudayguliyev noted in his statement the effectiveness of Turkmen-Afghan cooperation in the field of communications. Speaking about the coordinated work of Turkmen and Afghan specialists, he underlined that the international fiber-optic communication lines will serve as a key informational bridge between the states.
The Minister Masoumeh Khavari congratulated all ceremony participants upon the launch of international fiber-optic communication lines that is an important stage of Afghanistan’s strive to develop the communication and telecommunication systems. Noting the importance of cooperation with Turkmenistan, she underlined that international fiber-optic communication lines will facilitate the process of introducing “e-government” and will improve the communication system and internet connectivity on the territory of Afghanistan.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave their blessings for commissioning of international fiber-optic communication lines and then the ceremony participants watched on the screen the video presentation on launching of the international fiber-optic communication lines and transit flows by a special equipment.
THE GRAND COMMISSIONING OF THE POWER TRANSMISSION LINE ALONG KERKI (TURKMENISTAN) – SHEBERGHAN (AFGHANISTAN) ROUTE
Today, on the 14th of January 2021, the commissioning of the power transmission line along Kerki (Turkmenistan) – Sheberghan (Afghanistan) route was held in participation of the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Before the commissioning of the given power transmission line, the Minister of Energy of Turkmenistan Charymyrat Purchekov and the Director General of the Afghanistan National Water and Energy Affairs Regulation Authority Khan Mohammad Takal gave speeches at the ceremony. They shortly informed the participants about the construction process of the given infrastructure and the readiness to its launching.
In his speech, Ch. Purchekov noted that under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov extensive work is being done on the increase of the electric power volumes and expansion of the geography of the electricity export. The commissioning of the power transmission line along Kerki – Sheberghan route serves as yet another proof of the development of energy cooperation between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan.
After congratulating the heads of states and the people of two brotherly countries with the commissioning of the power transmission line, Khan Mohammad Takal expressed gratitude to Afghan and Turkmen counterparts for active participation to the implementation of the project. He told about the importance of the joint projects on the establishment of necessary infrastructure, providing to Afghanistan opportunities for the use of regional power industry market. It was stated that one of the priorities of the Government of Afghanistan was to ensure energy security of the country.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani gave their blessings for the commissioning of the power transmission line along Kerki – Sheberghan route and then the participants saw on the screen the process of electricity transmission via a technological imitation model.
The power transmission line along Kerki (Turkmenistan) – Sheberghan (Afghanistan) route with the length of 153 kilometers and the voltage of 500 kV is a part of the power transmission line project along “Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan” route aimed at the creation of infrastructure for the export and import of electric power between the three countries. Thus, the electricity from Turkmenistan will be supplied to a number of cities of Afghanistan, in particular Mazar-e-Sharif, with further access to the cities of Pakistan.
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.
PRESIDENTS OF TURKMENISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN TOOK PART IN THE COMMISSIONING OF A NUMBER OF JOINT INFRASTRUCTURES
Today, on the 14th of January 2021, the opening ceremony of 30 km long railway between Aqina and Andkhoy stations and the commissioning of the international fiber-optic communication system and transit flows from Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) to Aqina (Afghanistan) and from Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) to Torghundi (Afghanistan), as well as the power transmission line from Turkmen city of Kerki to Afghan city of Sheberghan was held in participation of the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
After announcing the ceremony opened, the moderator of the event asked the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to make a speech. For this, a teleconference was established.
First, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov addressed to the audience. His speech was listened by the participants of the event present in the “Rukhiyet” Palace of the Lebap region. The participants of the ceremony in Afghanistan, as well as in the Mary region observed the event via teleconference.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan said that “all three projects that have been completed in short time are united by a common meaning and goal – to give strong impulse and ensure long-term development of our countries, well-being and prosperity of Turkmen and Afghan people, assist expanded international cooperation, mutual understanding, political and social stability.” He also noted that the implementation of given projects was the result of multiyear close and constrictive Turkmen-Afghan cooperation.
Then, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani who was watching the ceremony in the Presidential Palace of Kabul addressed the audience. Warmly welcoming the participants, he noted that these events have special meaning for Afghanistan and his people. Speaking about the origins of the given projects, the head of Afghanistan highlighted their importance not only from the perspective of socio-economic reestablishment of the country, but also from the prospect of regional economic integration. The head of Afghanistan expressed gratitude to the leadership of Turkmenistan for fraternal support and care about the close neighbor. He noted that Turkmenistan unites not only the countries of the region, but also of the whole world. The participants of the event listened to the address of the President Ashraf Ghani through a teleconference.
Then, the heads of railway transport, energy and communication sectors of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan made speeches. They told about the outstanding work done on the part of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan for the implementation of current infrastructures and informed about the readiness to the commissioning of railway between Aqina and Andkhoy stations, international fiber-optic communication system and transit flows from Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) to Aqina (Afghanistan) and from Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) to Torghundi (Afghanistan), as well as the power transmission line from Turkmen city of Kerki to Afghan city of Sheberghan.
Upon the completion of these speeches, the moderators of the ceremony asked the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani to give their blessings for the commissioning of the given facilities.
Thus, the participants of the ceremony saw through a teleconference how the railway carriage consisting of 20 loaded cars left from the Aqina station to Andkhoy city in festive setting.
Besides, the commissioning of the power transmission line from Kerki to Sheberghan took place through the use of special equipment. The participants of the event observed the transmission of electricity through the line that was shown on the screen by a technological imitation model.
Also, the participants of the ceremony watched the video presentation of the commissioning of the international fiber-optic communication system and transit flows from Ymamnazar (Turkmenistan) to Aqina (Afghanistan) and Serhetabat (Turkmenistan) to Torghundi (Afghanistan).
Upon the completion of the ceremony, gratitude was expressed to the Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for participation in the event.