On the 6th of January 2021, a press-conference of the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Head of the Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Gherman was held in Ashgabat.
The representatives of the local mass media and the journalists accredited in Turkmenistan participated to the event, including the foreign press that took part in the press-conference through videoconferencing. Among the participants, the representatives of the mass media of Azerbaijan, the Great Britain, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan and other countries.
Opening the press-conference, N.Gherman congratulated everyone with the New Year and expressed gratitude for cooperation. She noted that in spite of the challenges faced by the humankind in the previous year, it was full of important events. “We marked the 25th anniversary of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan which has symbolically coincided with the historic 75th jubilee of the United Nations,” noted Ms.Gherman.
She told to the participants about the important events and achievements of 2020 and highly appraised the level of cooperation between the countries of the Central Asia in political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian spheres.
During her speech, Ms.Gherman highlighted the Final Ashgabat Document adopted upon the outcomes of the International Conference “Policy of Neutrality and Its Importance in Ensuring Universal Peace, Security and Sustainable Development” which was held in Ashgabat on December 12 of last year in honor of the 25th anniversary of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan. As known, the given Document was published on the official languages of the UN and circulated as the documents of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly and the Security Council.
“It is vital to note that the role of the neutrality policy in the development of peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations among the countries of the world is comprehensively stated in the Final Document. It contributes to the strengthening of international peace and security on the regional and global levels,” said Ms.Gherman.
It was also underlined that the policy of neutrality urges to use the mechanisms of preventive diplomacy which is one of main functions of the UN while preventing the conflicts and in the processes of peace building.
Also, during her speech N.Gherman underlined the importance of the resolution of the UN General Assembly initiated by the President of Turkmenistan on declaring the year 2021 as the International Year of Peace and Trust. “For us, the International Year of Peace and Trust stands as an efficient method of mobilizing the international community for actions aimed at reinforcing peace and trust in the relations among the states, in particular on the basis of political dialogue, mutual understanding and cooperation for attaining sustainable peace, solidarity and harmony,” added N.Gherman.
During today’s 16th Central Asia - EU Ministerial Meeting, the key issues of regional and international agenda were discussed. The Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan noted the active role of Turkmenistan in addressing the global challenges, as well as strengthening multilateral regional and international cooperation.
Thus, the firm commitment of Turkmenistan to the initiatives in the area of energy security, use of ecofriendly energy, expansion of regional and international transport and transit communications was underlined.
The parties expressed interest in the advancement of trade-economic, transport and energy cooperation and agreed to hold the First Economic Forum “EU-Central Asia” in 2021.
The issues of security and stability in the Central Asia and nearby regions were especially regarded. In this regard, the firm adherence of Turkmenistan to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy was emphasized. The importance of the Ashgabat Declaration of 2011 and the Central Asia’s Joint Plan of Action to counter terrorism was highlighted.
The participants expressed interest in continuing cooperation between the Central Asia and the EU on combatting terrorism, transnational organized crime, human trafficking, illegal drug trafficking and cyber security threats. In this context, the Turkmen side called for the intensification of partnership in the CA-EU-UN format.
The parties discussed the advancement of intra-Afghan peace talks and underlined the importance of support to the overall reinstatement of Afghanistan. It was noted that Turkmenistan actively works on the promotion of large infrastructural projects with participation of Afghanistan, including the construction of the gas pipeline TAPI, power and fiber-optic communication lines on Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route, building of the railway lines from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.
The participants of the session welcomed the initiative of the Government of Turkmenistan to host in December of current year in Ashgabat, an International Conference entitled as the “Policy of Neutrality and its Importance in Ensuring International Peace, Security, and Sustainable Development” devoted to the 25th anniversary of permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, as well as to organize an International High-Level Forum in the year of 2021, which has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Peace and Trust.
The heads of the external policy agencies of the EU and Central Asia welcomed the mutual cooperation on humanitarian issues and discussed the opportunities of widening ties in the area of education, science, culture, technologies and innovations.
The Joint Communiqué was adopted upon the outcomes of the 16th Central Asia - EU Ministerial Meeting.
On the 17th of November 2020, the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov took part in the work of the 16th Central Asia - EU Ministerial Meeting that was held through videoconferencing.
The leadership of the external policy agencies of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, the Republic of Uzbekistan, as well as the European Union’s (EU) High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission and European Commissioner for International Partnerships participated to the session.
During the meeting, the participants discussed a number of key issues of political, economic and humanitarian scope taking into account the interests of both regions and expressed adherence to the partnership, aimed at the maintenance of peace, security, universal human rights and sustainable development, in full accordance with the international law.
The cooperation on overcoming the COVID-19 pandemic and its socio-economic impacts were especially discussed. In this regard, the assistance of the EU to the countries of Central Asia was emphasized.
Speaking at the session, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan stressed the efficiency of partnership between the countries of the CA, EU and the World Health Organization. It was stated that the relevant regional programme financed by the EU is aimed at strengthening the resilience of healthcare systems of the CA countries for the near-term outlook. In this regard, R.Meredov called for expanding the cooperation between the CA countries, EU and the United Nations.
The position of Turkmenistan in regard to the implementation of the EU Strategy on Central Asia was also voiced. The Head of MFA of Turkmenistan proposed to specify the actions on practical implementation of the given Strategy including the development of the Roadmap of Cooperation for 2021. The healthcare, sustainable energy, transport connectivity and environmental protection issues were named among the priority vectors of cooperation.
The participants highlighted the importance of progress reached in the area of the supremacy of law, gender equality and universal human rights. The regional cooperation matters in such areas as border and water management, trade facilitation and economic integration were discussed, especially in the period of COVID-19 pandemic where the EU is rendering significant financial and technical support.
The parties agreed to continue cooperation on directions posing mutual interest and exchanged views in regard to prospects of collaboration in the format “Central Asia – European Union”.
On August 11, 2020, a special online meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue had been held.
The meeting, which was held under the auspices of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, was attended by the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of five Central Asian countries.
As part of a constructive conversation, high-ranking diplomats discussed regional cooperation, as well as well-coordinated interaction between the CA countries and Japan, taking into account the spread of the new coronavirus infection on a global scale.
During the speeches, the effectiveness of this format of diversified cooperation, based on the principles of mutual growth, solidarity and comprehensive support in key areas of mutually beneficial partnership, was especially noted.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.O. Meredov, expressing gratitude to the head of the Japanese Foreign Ministry for the initiative to organize this ministerial online meeting, especially noted the timeliness of the meeting.
Undoubtedly, since the establishment of the Central Asia + Japan Dialogue in 2004, this format of multilateral interaction has developed significantly. The topic of discussions within this format has significantly expanded, which today covers topical issues of ensuring international and regional security, sustainable development, creating favorable conditions for effective trade-economic ties, active exchange in the cultural-humanitarian field.
As the head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan noted, in these conditions, when the world community is fighting an urgent struggle against a new infection, this communication format, which unites the states of Central Asia as an important region of the planet and Japan, cannot remain aloof from solving the acute problem faced by humanity. In this context, the current dialogue of the Foreign Ministers provides an opportunity for an exchange of views on the complex situation in the world and ways to overcome it.
Based on the need to develop a global response to the challenges of our time, it is advisable to intensify the process of consolidating the efforts of the countries in countering the pandemic.
In this regard, the Turkmen side also took the initiative to develop, within the framework of the "Central Asia + Japan" Dialogue, a Program document that includes the basic principles of solidarity activities of the participating States in the fight against a new type of infection and specific measures aimed at preventing and treating diseases, caused by it.
The head of the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan also expressed special gratitude to the Japanese side for their readiness to provide a grant project in the field of medicine within the framework of the Official Development Assistance Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan.
As is known, Turkmen doctors highly appreciate the knowledge and experience gained in the course of numerous multilateral and two-way videoconferences with leading Japanese specialists.
Currently, the constant exchange of knowledge and information on the methods of treatment and prevention of infectious diseases, medical technologies, drugs and equipment, personal protective equipment for the full use of the mechanisms of scientific diplomacy is of great importance.
It is known that over the years of partnership within the framework of this format, the participating countries have identified a number of areas of multilateral interaction, including such areas as security, economy and culture. The implementation of joint projects in these areas remains an urgent task for the near future.
During the meeting, the ministers exchanged views on the agenda of the upcoming 8th meeting of the "Central Asia + Japan" Dialogue. In particular, they discussed the possibilities of developing and adopting the Concept of partnership between the states of Central Asia and Japan in the field of security, developing a new Platform for the development of economic partnership, preparation and discussion of the Roadmap on cooperation of the participating states in the field of high technologies, as well as preparation of the Program of cooperation between the participating countries in the socio-cultural sphere.
Silk Road Tbilisi 2015 forum started today.
Following the success of the inaugural Routes Silk Road in July of last year, the 2015 event, once again takes place in Tbilisi hosted by United Airports of Georgia (UAG) under the auspices of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development.
Routes Silk Road 2015 is the route development forum that connects CIS, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Asia. Located at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, Georgia is a bridge connecting several important economic regions including Europe, the Newly Independent States (NIS), Turkey, the Caucasus and Central Asia region. Its geographic location makes the country the transportation hub for commerce and job creation.
The event will be attended by delegates 700 from all over the World.