On January 9, 2021, Turkmen delegation headed by the Deputy Chairman of Cabinet of Ministers, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov had a meeting with the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
The Parties have stated with appreciation the high dynamics of broad bilateral relations. The effectiveness of interstate political and diplomatic dialogue, as well as further development of trade, economic, culture and humanitarian relations has been emphasized.
During the conversation, significant steps of collaboration between two neighboring countries in the last year, in particular on promoting large joint infrastructure projects have been underlined, as well as the key vectors of partnership for current year determined.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov had a meeting with the Chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on the same day.
On April 16, 2020, a video conference was held between the representatives of the “Türkmendemirýollary” agency, open joint-stock company “Demiryollary” and the Railway Authority of the Ministry of Transport of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
The Turkmen side was headed by the Chairman of the “Türkmendemirýollary” agency A.Atamyradov. The Afghan side was led by the General Director of the Railway Authority of Afghanistan Mohammad Yamma Shams.
During the meeting, issues related to the construction of the Akina-Andkhoy railway line, the work carried out under the project for the construction of the Turgundi-Herat railway were discussed.
The participants also exchanged views on optimizing transit freight traffic and wagons passing through the IRA, further developing of the transport corridor between the Lapis Lazuli agreement participating countries. Separately, issues of obtaining visas for railway workers and other issues were considered.
During the meeting of the CIS Council of Heads of State, held in Ashgabat under the chairmanship of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the head of Turkmenistan outlined Turkmenistan’s position on Afghan issues and called for coordinating the efforts of the Commonwealth to address the problems in Afghanistan.
As emphasized, presiding over the CIS in 2019, Turkmenistan has identified the main task – to provide all-round support for the development of the CIS potential, filling the activities of the Commonwealth with new content in accordance with the objective requirements of the day. In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan emphasized that one of the important areas of cooperation was a systematic joint work to ensure peace, security and stability, and effective partnership in countering modern challenges and threats.
“It is not easy to achieve this goal. We all see what complicated processes are observed in the world today, including in the immediate vicinity of the borders of the Commonwealth. Without dramatizing them, however, we have to clearly understand what consequences and potential risks they may bear for our countries”, said the President of Turkmenistan.
“It seems that one of the factors that must be taken into account in the joint political and diplomatic work is the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan”, continued President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. “Turkmenistan, as the state neighboring Afghanistan, is actively participating in international efforts aimed at strengthening stability in this country, reviving its socio-economic infrastructure, and providing humanitarian assistance to the Afghan people”.
Confirming the readiness of neutral Turkmenistan to provide its political space for the negotiation process on Afghan issues in cooperation with the UN and other interested international organizations, the President of Turkmenistan expressed belief that this dialogue should be conducted with the leading role of the Afghan side.
At the same time, it was emphasized that Afghanistan-friendly states should take an active part in the implementation of economic projects, aimed at creating and strengthening the energy, transport, communication and industrial foundations of the Afghan economy.
To this goal, today our country, together with its Afghan partners, is implementing a number of international projects.
In addition, Turkmenistan provides humanitarian assistance to the Afghan population on a regular basis, including construction of schools, hospitals and other social facilities. “We think that such an integrated approach to solving political, economic and humanitarian issues will allow us to effectively resolve Afghanistan’s issues and problems in the future”, the President of Turkmenistan emphasized.
Defining the main vectors of coordinated work of the CIS in the Afghan direction, the President of Turkmenistan called for CIS Ministers of Foreign Affairs to hold political consultations in the near future.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
Bilateral documents signing ceremony took places upon the completion of extended format Turkmen – Afghan talks. Regulatory and legal framework of Turkmen – Afghan cooperation is supplemented with ten documents, which are to support the steadfast development of interstate dialog.
Under the applauses of the participants, the Heads of two State put their signatures under the Agreement on Strategic Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and joint Statement of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Development of Cooperation in Oil and Gas Sphere, Memorandum of Understanding on Increment of Volumes of Turkmen Energy supplied to Herat Province of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, the Agreement on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Affairs, the Agreement on Air Communication, the Agreement on International Railway Transit Point on Turkmen – Afghan State border have been signed on the government level.
The Memorandum of Understanding on Construction of Akina – Andhoy Railroad between the Türkmendemirýollary Agency of the Ministry of Industry and Communication of Turkmenistan and the Railway Transport Department of Afghanistan has also been signed. Regulations of organization of railway communication between Serhetabat and Turgundy railway station of Turkmen – Afghan border have been adopted.
In addition, the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Magtumguly Institute of Language, Literature and National Manuscripts of the Academy of Science of Turkmenistan and National Archive of Afghanistan has been signed.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
Upon the completion of the bilateral documents signing ceremony, the Leaders of Turkmenistan and Afghanistan made statement to the representatives of mass media.
Commenting on the outcomes of the high-level meeting in Ashgabat, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that the talks, during which aspects of bilateral cooperation as well as wide range of issues of regional and international politics have been discusses, went in the atmosphere of understanding and trsut.
It was mentioned that the visions of current issues of the world politics either similar of close. In the world arena, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are the supporters of the principles of equal rights, justice, non-interference into internal affairs of sovereign states. The cooperation under the United Nations Organization as well as under the Islamic Cooperation Organization and the Economic Cooperation Organization will be continued.
Turkmenistan and Afghanistan are the supporters of the formation of solid foundation of peace and security in the region. The sides confirmed the willingness to cooperation for turning of Central Asia into the zone of stability and sustainable development. It was highlighted in this regard, that implementation of the UN Global Counterterrorist Strategy and other documents on combating against the terrorism on the world and regional levels including the Ashgabat Declaration from 2011 is one of key directions of joint activity.
Speaking of the solution of Afghan problems, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that political stability could be achieved only by peaceful methods and by negotiations. Being a neutral state, Turkmenistan repeatedly said about the willingness to create all necessary conditions for organization of direct talks between the Government of Turkmenistan and all interested parties. This position of Turkmenistan was confirmed at current meeting.
Involvement of Afghanistan to major international and regional projects in economic sphere is an important condition for the achievement of peace and solidarity in this country. Following its commitment, Turkmenistan proposed numerous important projects with the participation of Afghanistan in energy, transport and communication sphere.
It includes the construction of Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas pipeline. The orientation of this project to social targets is its important component. In addition, the transit of gas across the territory of the country would provide annual income of more than 1 billion US dollars to the budget of Afghanistan.
It was mentioned that fruitful cooperation is also in electrical energy sphere, more than 20 years, Turkmen power is supplied to the northern and western provinces of Afghanistan. Turkmen specialists built more than 400 kilometres of power lines on the territory of neighbouring country for these years.
Participation of two countries in the project of construction of multimodal transport corridor Lapis Lazuli has also been highlighted. The willingness to continue regular meetings with transport ministers of participating countries has been confirmed for the discussion of the issues related to the implementation of the project.
Mutual intent to improve trade and economic relations has been expressed during the talks. Relative assignments have been given to the heads of profile departments of both countries in this regard.
Turkmenistan would continue rendering humanitarian support to Afghan people, build social facilities in this country, Turkmen leader has said thereafter.
Cooperation in educational spheres is also successfully developed with Afghanistan. According to the request of Afghan side, Turkmenistan would continue rendering support in this direction, the Head of the State noted. Bilateral relations in cultural and scientific spheres will also be activated.
This meeting has proven stable character of the relations based on the principles of goodwill, fraternity, mutual respect and equal rights, - President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said in the end and wished peace and prosperity to Afghan nation.
The state news agency of Turkmenistan
The Islamic State claimed responsibility on Tuesday after a 17-year-old Afghan who came to Germany as a migrant attacked passengers on a regional train with an ax before he was killed by the police, a development that is likely to intensify fears that the huge influx of migrants poses a security threat.
The announcement, in a bulletin issued in Arabic and English via its Amaq News Agency, came after German authorities said that investigators had found a hand-drawn flag of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, in the room of the Afghan teenager, along with notes in Pashto indicating that he might have been self-radicalized.