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”.
You are a true friend of this country. We are grateful for your personal and the United States support of our strategic partnership, the most important partnership of this country, Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Gakharia stated during today's meeting with US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo.
The Head of State emphasized US-Georgia strategic partnership and thanked the US Secretary of State for his visit to Georgia.
"Of course, we are thankful for the United States support in combating COVID. As you know, we have a very successful story of cooperation, meaning Lugar Laboratory, which is key to Georgia's response to COVID. First of all, I would like to underline that we really appreciate the continuous support of the US people and Government for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Georgia. You know how important it is to our country with its territories occupied and occupation forces on our soil. Our strategic partnership is based, first of all, on values: freedom, democracy, and shared geostrategic interests. In this very turbulent time in the region, we understand that we have to discuss these issues, and this is a great opportunity for us to discuss very important issues of deepening the cooperation between the US and Georgia in defense and security, economy, and consolidating democracy. I would like to assure you, we feel that this is a great momentum for enhancing our cooperation, for enhanced partnership between our countries, for enhanced US presence in this region. So, welcome once again, and we are very thankful that you found time for this visit," Giorgi Gakharia addressed Michael Pompeo.
US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo thanked the Head of Georgian Government for hospitality and emphasized the years-long friendly relations between the two countries.
"Mister Prime Minister, it is great to be here. We have many important topics to discuss today, and these points have been well taken in. The world, and certainly Georgia, is in the middle of a terrible challenge from the virus that was released from China. We will address this together, keep our people safe, and get our economies back up and going again. This is central for the prosperity of your country, region, and the world.
We have been great friends for almost 30 years now. We support your democracy, and we have worked together all this time, and we recognize all the pain and difficulty connected to the occupation of your country. And we will do everything we can to support your democratic process, the building up of the institutions in ways that are important for free and fair elections, and all other things that come with robust debate and democracy. And I thank you hosting me again. I appreciate it," Michael Pompeo said.
The parties discussed the key directions of Georgia-US strategic partnership and prospects of deepening the strong cooperation between the countries.
The Head of Government singled out the invaluable support from the US in the fight against the pandemic and thanked the strategic partner state.
Attention was paid to the state of affairs in Georgia and the region, alongside Georgia-US cooperation for strengthening regional and international security.
The Head of Government, during the meeting with the Secretary of State, emphasized the dire security and humanitarian situation in Georgia's occupied regions.
The Secretary of State reaffirmed the unwavering support of the United States of America for Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity and the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
The meeting underlined cooperation for further strengthening trade and economic relations and Georgia's democratic development. The Prime Minister singled out the crucially important role of the US in Georgia's democratic development.
According to Giorgi Gakharia, the visit by the Secretary of State reiterates the robustness of Georgia-US strategic partnership and the commitment of the two countries to continuing this cooperation in order to build on the existing partnership based on shared values.
The enhanced-format high-level meeting at the Administration of the Government was attended from the American side by Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Reeker, US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Georgia Kelly Degnan, Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Ricky Waddell, and Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State Mary Kissel, and from the Georgian side by Foreign Minister David Zalkaliani, Georgian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the US Davit Bakradze, and Head of the Government Administration Natia Mezvrishvili.
After the meeting, the US Secretary of State, together with the Prime Minister, enjoyed Tbilisi's views from the balcony of the Government's Administration.
Press Service of the Government Administration
THE THIRD MEETING OF THE HEADS OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS AGENCIES OF THE CENTRAL ASIAN STATES AND THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION WAS HELDFriday, 16 October 2020 16:33
Today, on October 15, 2020, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov took part in the third meeting of Foreign Ministers in the “Central Asia + Russia” format.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan M. Tleuberdi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic R. Kazakbayev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan S. Mukhriddin, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan A. Kamilov.
During the meeting, the Ministers noted the high level of interstate dialogue between the countries of Central Asia and the Russian Federation, which are linked by bonds of friendship, solidarity and mutual respect. The parties discussed a number of topical issues of cooperation in the political and diplomatic line, as well as in the trade-economic, and cultural-humanitarian fields.
Particular attention was paid to the issues of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the exchange of views on the creation of anti-crisis plans and programs on overcoming the socio-economic consequences on the countries of the region.
Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov announced the measures taken in the country to counter the pandemic threat and stressed the importance of strengthening regional and international cooperation in this direction. “According to the initiatives voiced by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov during his video address to the participants of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, it is necessary to use the mechanisms of scientific diplomacy and consolidate the efforts of the relevant state departments, primarily through the ministries of health and sanitary and epidemiological services,” the Minister said.
The parties discussed in detail the current situation and prospects of interaction in the field of regional security, taking into account the development of the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In this regard, it was noted that Turkmenistan stands for stabilizing the situation in this country, creating conditions for achieving national agreement through peaceful dialogue and providing the people of Afghanistan with economic and humanitarian assistance. The parties exchanged views on expanding the range of cooperation to counter common threats and challenges. In this context, the need to expand partnership within the framework of regional and international structures, taking into account universally recognized norms and principles, was noted.
The Ministers considered the possibilities of expanding a fair and mutually beneficial partnership in the Eurasian space, including the development of trade and economic ties and investment cooperation. Prospects for the implementation of key initiatives of the Central Asian states, the Russian Federation and the Asian-Pacific region’s countries in the transit and logistics sphere were discussed, which is expected to strengthen trade and economic relations, ensure favorable tariff conditions, and increase competitiveness in the post-pandemic period.
The parties also discussed the possibilities of expanding cooperation in the cultural-humanitarian sphere. They noted the acceptability of developing ties in the field of education, science and culture. In this context, the parties stressed the importance of the "Soul of Eurasia" initiative aimed at developing cultural dialogue between the countries.
In conclusion, noting the commitment to interaction in this format, the Ministers adopted the Statement on the strategic directions of cooperation.
The Intergovernmental Turkmenistan-Kazakhstan Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation held an extraordinary session with the participation of the heads of the leading ministries and departments of Turkmenistan and Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan Askar Mamin, who arrived in our country.
The meeting participants expressed satisfaction with the high level of interstate relations established in recent years, characterized by growing dynamics and profound potential for further intensification in all areas.
It is generally agreed that the active dialogue at the highest level, in frames of which the key vectors of cooperation between neighboring countries on a bilateral and multilateral basis are determined, including within the framework of major international organizations and authoritative regional structures, stands as a reliable basis for the progressive development of traditionally friendly Turkmen-Kazakh relations.
The parties discussed the progress in the implementation of the agreements reached as a result of the previous meetings of the Commission, as well as the possibilities of expanding partnership in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres.
Particular emphasis was placed on the prospects for cooperation in the oil and gas, transport and communication sectors, which are of particular importance for both Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan. That is vividly proved by the construction of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, recognized as the "golden" link of the North-South transport corridor.
The participants noted that the favorable geographical position of the two countries necessitated further development of cooperation on the formation of important transport and transit corridors. This will help bringing economic and trade cooperation between the Central Asian countries and neighboring regions up to a qualitatively new level.
As emphasized, Turkmenistan and the Republic of Kazakhstan pay great attention to the intensification of a multidimensional partnership, initially built on a long-term basis that meet the key goals of large-scale socio-economic reforms carried out by the leaders of the two countries.
It was noted that, despite the negative impact of the global pandemic, the interstate trade turnover steadily grew that vividly testifies to the mutual interest in increasing trade and economic cooperation, which is an essential condition for the progress and prosperity of each country.
Expressing the commitment of Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan to centuries-old good-neighborly relations, the members of the Commission discussed and outlined a number of concrete steps to diversify interaction in all promising areas.
The humanitarian sphere was recognized as one of the components of the Turkmen-Kazakh relations, in this regard the importance of establishing the closest contacts in the field of education, science, health care and culture was emphasized.
Focusing on the importance for regular bilateral meetings and negotiations, the meeting participants expressed confidence that the agreements reached at the end of the current meeting would give a new impetus to intensify the dialogue in the interests of the both countries and fraternal peoples.
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.
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.
The Speaker, H.E. Archil Talakvadze held the farewell meeting with the Head of CoE Georgia Office, Mr. Cristian Urse and discussed the relations between the Georgian Parliament and the CoE and the future cooperation prospects.
The Speaker thanked the diplomat for his personal contribution in democratic development of the country and wished good luck in his further career.
On July 2, 2020, a trilateral meeting was held in the form of a video conference between the Presidents of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan. The agenda of the high-level meeting included discussion of a joint project - the international transit and transport corridor along the route Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli).
During a video conference on the implementation of this joint project, the heads of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev noted that the fulfillment of projects on the creation of transcontinental transit transport corridors will serve to strengthen regional and international trade and economic relations, universal sustainable development.
Warmly welcoming President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani and President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov thanked his colleagues for organizing the forum.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan emphasized that cooperation in this direction is given particular importance taking into account the global danger that the world is currently facing. As part of international efforts to combat the proliferation of COVID-19, Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan have worked together effectively. In this regard, the head of state expressed his gratitude to the Afghan and Azerbaijani parties for understanding and providing comprehensive support to the initiatives of Turkmenistan to combat the coronavirus infection and reduce the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic.
Turning to the issues of cooperation in the field of transport, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan are located at the crossroads of continental routes.
Considering the already outlined directions of the plan for joint cooperation in the transport sector, as well as the deadlines, the need to establish effective cooperation was emphasized. In this regard, the head of Turkmenistan put forward a number of specific proposals for actively establishing a long-term partnership in the field of transport.
Firstly, based on the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey (Lapis Lazuli) Agreement on the transport corridor, signed in Ashgabat on November 15, 2017, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed the creation of a single logistics center.
Secondly, the availability of modern, high-tech transport infrastructure is of paramount importance for increasing the efficiency of freight transportation. Aware of this, it is necessary to pay special attention to the further development of points of departure and reception of goods: seaports, railway stations and bus stations.
Thirdly, the head of state proposed a common pricing policy for the transportation of goods along the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan route and in the opposite direction. In this context, it was emphasized that the parties can discuss the issues of providing each other with various benefits - such as reducing prices (tariffs) for transit, exemption from payment for certain types of services during storage of goods.
Fourthly, the Turkmen leader proposed to consider the possibility of simplifying customs operations by introducing a control system based on the Single Window principle.
Fifthly, the need was expressed to prepare an atlas of the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan route in digital format with detailed information on the existing transport and communications infrastructure.
In order to elaborate on the initiatives voiced in detail, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov proposed holding an online meeting in July this year between leaders of the transport agencies and other relevant departments of the three countries.
Thanking the participants of the online meeting for their attention, the Turkmen leader expressed his conviction that the development of effective mechanisms and mutually agreed positions will expand cooperation that meets the real interests of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan.
During the meeting, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani told in their speeches that the initiatives put forward by the President of Turkmenistan find broad support from the international community and expressed gratitude to the Turkmen counterpart for the ongoing constructive peace policy and put forward initiatives to deepen multilateral partnership in all promising areas.
Current subjects of cooperation between Turkmenistan and Abu Dhabi Development Fund was on the agenda of the meeting with General Director of the Fund Mohamed Saif Al Suwaidi, which was held in video conference format.
Heads and representatives of the Foreign Ministry, Central Bank, State Bank of Foreign Economic Activity and Türkmengaz State Concern took part in the forum from Turkmen side.
Current situation and opportunities of further intensification of productive cooperation in economic, financial, fuel and energy spheres have been discussed during the meeting. In this context, perspectives of cooperation in attraction of investments to large-scale oil and gas projects of our country have been reviewed.
At the same time, presence of significant potential for expansion of fruitful partnership between Turkmenistan and big companies of United Arab Emirates, which meets interests of both countries, has been noted.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
A meeting within the framework of the Human Rights Dialogue “Turkmenistan - the European Union” was heldFriday, 19 June 2020 10:09
On June 18, 2020, a regular meeting as part of the Human Rights Dialogue “Turkmenistan - European Union” was held in the form of a video conference.
The heads and representatives of relevant ministries and departments of the country, including the Mejlis of Turkmenistan, the Ombudswoman of Turkmenistan, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs and others attended the meeting.
The European side at the meeting was represented by the head and representatives of the European Service for Foreign Policy Activities, as well as the Head of the European Union Delegation to Turkmenistan.
During the meeting, issues of expanding cooperation between Turkmenistan and the EU in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law were discussed. An exchange of views took place on such issues as the development of civil society, the rule of law and judicial reform, as well as intensive interaction between the parties to reduce the socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the framework of the online meeting, the participants discussed the comprehensive promotion of economic, social and cultural rights of the people in the framework of international and local documents, including the National Plan of Action for Gender Equality for 2015-2020, the National Human Rights Action Plan for 2016-2020, the National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings for 2020-2022, the National Plan of Action for the realization of children's rights in Turkmenistan for 2018-2022, as well as the National Strategy of Turkmenistan for the Early Development of the Child for 2020-2025 and others.
Also during the dialogue, the parties expressed views on expanding cooperation between Turkmenistan and the EU in the framework of multilateral forums and international organizations.
The current session of the Human Rights Dialogue “Turkmenistan - European Union” serves yet as another proof of the adherence of the parties to multifaceted bilateral cooperation.