The fifth Consultative Meeting of the Heads of State of Central Asia began in Dushanbe.
The forum is attended by the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, as well as the President of the Azerbaijan Republic Ilham Aliyev.
The agenda of the summit includes issues of developing cooperation in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. It is expected that the heads of state will pay special attention to expanding partnerships in fuel and energy, transport and communications and other areas.
Forum participants will also discuss issues of international and regional politics of mutual interest.
The Turkmen delegation took part in the 9th regional meeting of the National Committees on Trade Facilitation in Central Asia in Tashkent. This is reported by the website of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan.
The central theme of the event, organized within the framework of the project of the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ), was the discussion of trade facilitation issues. In particular, initiatives to digitalize trade procedures and improve access to information for the private sector were considered.
In this regard, representatives of the World Trade Center familiarized the participants with the work of Trading Portal, which was recently established in Turkmenistan.
Representatives of the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan together with experts of the International Union of Road Transport and employees of the State Customs Committee under the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Uzbekistan also visited the customs post "Yallama" on the Uzbek-Kazakh border.
A MEETING WITH THE HEAD OF THE UN REGIONAL CENTER FOR PREVENTIVE DIPLOMACY WAS HELD AT THE MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTANWednesday, 22 February 2023 14:59
On February 21, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R.Meredov received Natalya Gherman, who is completing her mission as the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA).
During the meeting, the commitment of Turkmenistan to strategic cooperation with the United Nations and its specialized agencies was confirmed.
During the meeting, an exchange of views took place on priority areas of cooperation between our country and the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia. This cooperation, first of all, is distinguished by its effectiveness.
In this regard, the importance of the creative initiatives put forward by the President of Turkmenistan in various fields was emphasized. The Head of the foreign policy agency of Turkmenistan noted that the mechanisms of multilateral preventive diplomacy, such as the Academy of Preventive Diplomacy initiative and the Women's Dialogue of Central Asian countries, have been created and are successfully operating.
Sincere gratitude was also expressed to Natalya Gherman, who is completing her work as the head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Central Asia, for her activities, which contributed to the development and strengthening of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the United Nations. Words of congratulations were expressed in connection with her appointment as the Executive Director of the Executive Directorate of the UN Counter-Terrorism Committee and wishes of success in the new responsible post.
On December 10, 2022, the Fifth Central Asian Expert Forum "Actual aspects of regional cooperation on climate change, water use, food security and information and communication technologies in the Central Asian region" was held in the Turkmen capital.
The event was organized by the Scientific Center for Strategic Studies of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan with the assistance of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
The purpose of the event is to discuss topical issues of ensuring regional cooperation, development of common strategic approaches, practical proposals and recommendations for the governments of the states of the region in agreed areas by the leading experts of the Central Asian countries.
The regular meeting was attended by heads and experts of the Institutes for Strategic Studies of the Central Asian States, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions, UNRCCA, faculty and students of the IMO MFA, and media representatives.
The forum program included three sessions: "Cooperation in combating climate change in Central Asia in the light of the decisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), water cooperation in the Aral Sea Basin", "Issues of food security in the Central Asian region", " Problems of ensuring security in the field of information and communication technologies”.
During the meeting, the measures taken in the countries of Central Asia to mitigate the effects of climate change, and the possibility of attracting the resources of international financial institutions, in particular, the UN Green Climate Fund (GCF), were discussed.
The importance of analyzing the emerging realities, identifying priority areas for mutually beneficial cooperation based on a thorough and critical study of the key processes of regional development and trends in interstate relations, and achieving concrete results that can make the CA region more secure, stable and prosperous was noted.
Speaking about integrated approaches to protecting cyberspace, ensuring information security at the national and regional levels, the participants noted that at present all countries of the region have adopted and are implementing their own strategic and conceptual documents aimed at developing the digital society, as well as countering cyber threats.
In conclusion, the participants expressed their sincere gratitude to President Serdar Berdimuhamedov for his support in holding this forum at a high level, noting with satisfaction that it would give an important impetus to the further development of cooperation between the countries of Central Asia in addressing topical regional issues.
The head of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov took part in the 15th Cooperation Forum "Central Asia - the Republic of Korea", which was held on Tuesday, October 25, in the city of Pusan.
Speaking at the forum, Rashid Meredov noted that "the main task today is the solidarity of the countries of Central Asia and the Republic of Korea in maintaining universal long-term peace and stability," according to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
According to Meredov, in modern conditions "the role of political and diplomatic interaction between our countries is growing, establishing a regular and open exchange of views on issues of mutual interest," the press service of the Foreign Ministry notes.
Meredov drew the attention of the Korean side to the great potential for cooperation in high-tech industries, including telecommunications and space, in water desalination projects.
As a result of the meeting, the Joint Statement of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Work Plan of the Secretariat of the Central Asia-Republic of Korea Cooperation Forum for 2023 were adopted.
On the sidelines of the forum, Rashid Meredov met with Pusan Mayor Pak Hyeong-Jun, discussing with him the possibilities of developing relations between the seaports of Turkmenbashi and Pusan, exchanging experience in the field of port management, and in the future - establishing sister city relations between them.
Issues of promoting partnerships in the fields of information and digital technologies, transport and communications, shipbuilding, water and forestry, architecture and urban planning were considered.
Rashid Meredov also met with his South Korean counterpart Pak Jin. The head of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said that Turkmenistan, with a sense of gratitude and high responsibility, takes over the chairmanship of the Forum and starts preparing for the next, 16th meeting of the Republic of Korea-Central Asia Forum in 2023 in Ashgabat.
The parties expressed confidence that the official visit of Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty - the Upper House of the Turkmen Parliament Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the Republic of Korea in November this year will open a new page in the history of bilateral relations.
Air Astana, Kazakhstan’s flag carrier, has received prestigious Skytrax awards for “Best Airline in Central Asia and CIS” for the tenth time and “Best Service in Central Asia and CIS” for the first time. Awards were presented to all winners at a Skytrax Awards ceremony in London today.
“Since it was launched 20 years ago, Air Astana steadily built a reputation for safety, efficiency and outstanding customer service. We are once again honoured to receive awards from Skytrax today, which perfectly reflect our commitment to the very highest standards of excellence and recognition from our devoted passengers. I would like to thank every one of our almost six thousand staff for their professionalism and dedication on this proud occasion,” said Peter Foster, President and CEO of Air Astana.
"Air Astana is celebrating its tenth win this year. The airline's management and employees should be proud of this success and of winning the award for Best Airline and Best Service in Central Asia and CIS. The past two years have been very challenging for the aviation industry; therefore, this award confirms the high quality service that Air Astana continues to provide to its customers,” said Edward Plaisted, CEO of Skytrax Awards.
Winners of Skytrax Awards are determined through an annual passenger survey. More than 300 airlines were evaluated between September 2021 and August 2022. More than 14 million people from 100 nationalities participated in this survey in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Japanese and Chinese. Survey participants rated the airline's website, check-in and boarding procedures, cabin cleanliness, IFE, crew appearance and service, food quality, comfort of seats and more.
Air Astana received the Skytrax "Best Airline in Central Asia and India" award for the first time in 2011 and this was followed a year later by being the first airline in the CIS and Eastern Europe to receive a four-star Skytrax award. From 2013 to 2015, Air Astana was awarded the Skytrax Award for “Best Service in Central Asia and India” and in 2021, it was certified by Skytrax for COVID-19.
Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Levan Davitashvili and Minister of Finance Lasha Khutsishvili met with Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund, who was on a working visit to Georgia.
According to the administration of the Ministry of Economics, the IMF Resident Representative for Georgia, Selim Chakir as well as Deputy Ministers and the Heads of Departments of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development attended the meeting.
The parties reviewed the issues related to cooperation between Georgia and the International Monetary Fund. The importance of the new three-year program aimed at further strengthening of macroeconomic stability, increasing medium-term growth prospects in the face of existing challenges in the region, promoting the continuation of structural reforms, including public finance management, state enterprise reforms and energy support schemes, was also covered during the meeting.
Georgian side informed the Director for the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund about the current situation in the country’s economy, indicators of economic growth for 5 months of the current year, as well as future forecasts. It was emphasized that Georgia has quite a successful experience in managing external shocks and despite the current geopolitical shock, by implementing an immediate and effective economic policy, the economy of Georgia maintains high rates of economic growth, sustainability and macroeconomic stability.
As Selim Chakir noted, the authorities have shown significant progress in the direction of strengthening the regulation and supervision of the financial sector. According to the Chakir, the IMF supports the economic program developed by the government, which is focused on reducing fiscal deficit, inflation and external vulnerabilities, as well as structural reforms necessary to boost growth.
At the end of the meeting, the parties confirmed readiness to continue cooperation in the process of implementing economic and structural reforms important for the country.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov received on Wednesday the EU Special Representative for Central Asia Teri Hakala, who arrived in Ashgabat on a visit. As noted during the meeting, Turkmenistan attaches great importance to the further development of partnership with the European Union and regards this visit as an impetus for constructive cooperation.
The Head of State stressed that the opening of the official representative office of the European Union in Ashgabat in 2019 marked a new chapter in Turkmenistan's relations with the EU.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Terry Hakala confirmed their interest in expanding cooperation both in the field of politics and in the spheres of economy, ecology and humanitarian affairs.
The joint committee "European Union – Turkmenistan", the formats of the inter–parliamentary dialogue, the dialogue on human rights and the Dialogue "European Union – Central Asia" were called effective platforms for interaction.
Ashgabat and Brussels are actively cooperating in the field of modernization of Turkmenistan's legislation, implementing joint projects in the educational sphere, the digital sector, the agro-industrial complex, water resources management and climate issues.
On November 3, 2021, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev met with the Regional Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia, Ryszard Komenda, via videoconference.
Dmitry Shlapachenko, UN Resident Coordinator in Turkmenistan, also took part in the meeting.
During the meeting, the sides discussed issues related to further development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN specialized agencies on human rights. There was a constructive exchange of views on strengthening and protection of human rights, including implementation of the obligations and provisions of the human rights conventions in which Turkmenistan takes part.
Noting Turkmenistan's achievements in the field of human rights, the sides discussed procedures for the practical implementation of humanitarian standards in national legislation.
As is known, Turkmenistan, consistently fulfilling its obligations in the humanitarian sphere, has acceded to most UN conventions, covenants and protocols on human rights. The protection of human rights and gender development issues are reflected in the national programs of socio-economic development of Turkmenistan.
The sides also discussed the activities of the Working Group of the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international obligations on human rights and international humanitarian law. In this regard, the sides considered the key areas of implementation of the Joint Action Plan of the Interdepartmental Commission on compliance with Turkmenistan's international obligations on human rights and international humanitarian law and of the United Nations (UN) Mission in Turkmenistan for the second half of 2021.
Regular contacts between the Government of Turkmenistan and the International Labor Organization (ILO) for the coordination of joint projects and the organization of visits to Turkmenistan by ILO experts were emphasized.
During the talks, gratitude was expressed to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia for organizing and conducting meetings related to the provision of technical assistance and coordination of activities in the implementation of UN projects on human rights.
Today, on the 6th of August 2021, the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia was held in the National Tourist Zone “Avaza”. The Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Gherman also took part in the session.
The Presidents of Central Asian states arrived to Turkmenistan to participate to this conference in the framework of which a number of parallel events of economic and cultural scope were held, including the Economic Forum of the Central Asian states, International Exhibition of the Products of Central Asian countries, Women’s Dialogue of the States of Central Asia, as well as the International Festival of the National Cuisines of the region’s countries.
The Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia was held in the Congress Hall of the National Tourist Zone “Avaza”. The event was preceded by the bilateral meetings of the heads of states. Then, the joint photographing ceremony of the Presidents of five Central Asian states took place.
In his opening speech, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to his colleagues for accepting the invitation to visit Turkmenistan for participation to the Consultative Meeting aimed at further strengthening of regional cooperation, provision of conditions for more active and oriented steps in this regard, which is expected to become a strong mobilizing factor for effective and constructive participation of the Central Asian region to the continental and global affairs.
The parties considered the key aspects of developing political, trade-economic and cultural-humanitarian collaboration between the countries of the region. A constructive exchange of views on the issues of regional stability was held. The Presidents discussed the pressing issues of regional cooperation, exchanged opinions on current topics of international development. They also agreed to accelerate the external policy cooperation, including through the regular five-sided meetings between the MFAs of the regions’ countries.
During the session, the Presidents discussed the issues related to the implementation of resolutions adopted at the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia that was held in Tashkent on November 29, 2019. The parties noted the importance of the region from the geopolitical and geo-economic perspectives and underlined the high level of mutual understanding, trust and mutual respect between the countries that are united by century’s long historical, spiritual and cultural ties. It was emphasized that all of this is positively affecting not only the region, but the Eurasia in general.
Special attention was paid to the establishment of favorable conditions for the partnership in the energy sphere, expansion of cooperation between the region’s countries in transport-communications field, in particular through the maintenance of effective functioning of available and by forming new transport corridors. In his speech, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said, “based on the UN documents, we are forming in Central Asia favorable political-legal and economic conditions for safe, sustainable partnership, which is oriented at the fulfillment of internal regional demand for energy carriers, as well as directed at the entrance to the world markets via the international transit corridors”.
The Presidents exchanged views on the development of trade ties, increase of export and import operations. The agreements were reached on the diversification of mutual trade turnover and industrial cooperation.
One of the main constituents of the agenda of the meeting was the consolidation of efforts of the region’s countries on countering the pandemic. The Presidents agreed to facilitate the organization and encourage joint research in the area of studying the nature of new type infections, as well as the application of new methods of treatment and prevention of communicable diseases.
Upon the outcomes of the meeting, the Joint Statement of the Heads of States of Central Asia was adopted.
Then, an official ceremony of awarding the Honorable Sign of the Heads of States of Central Asia was held. In accordance with the decision of the Presidents of the countries of Central Asia adopted at the current Consultative Meeting, the Honorable Sign was awarded to the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon for outstanding achievements in the development of friendship, good-neighborliness, mutual understanding and cooperation between the states of Central Asia, as well as for strengthening peace and security in the region, promotion of joint interests and initiatives of the region’s countries within the international community. With the applauses of the audience, the Honorable Sign was awarded by the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
Then the press conference of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Central Asia, the Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Gherman took place upon the outcomes of the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of States of Central Asia.
The same day, the Presidents visited the International Exhibition of the Products of Central Asian countries and the International Festival of the National Cuisines of the region’s countries.
In the end of the day, the heads of states took part in the festive concert of the art and culture workers of the countries of Central Asia, as well as in the official dinner.