Last month, in which the country celebrated its main holiday (Independence Day), is characterized by traditionally high socio-political and business activity, particularly in the field of international relations.
So, the remarkable event at the beginning of October was the Culture Days of the Russian Federation in Turkmenistan, organized in cooperation between the ministries of culture of the two countries. The creative event’s programme included a concert of the State Academic Folk Dance Ensemble named after Igor Moiseyev, a photo exhibition “Nature of the Russian North”, a showing of modern Russian feature films, a master class given by artists of the Ensemble named after Igor Moiseyev to dance groups of the Turkmen capital, etc. Culture Days, timed to the official visit of President of Russia Vladimir Putin to our country, testified to the importance of cultural and humanitarian contacts in the strategic partnership between the two friendly states.
The prospects for expanding Turkmen-Russian cooperation were discussed at a meeting with the Russian delegation headed by Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov held on October 2 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Stressing the high dynamics of an interstate political dialogue, the parties indicated the need for further development of relations in the energy and transport sectors. Specified among other areas of mutual interest was a partnership in the fields of science, education and sports. In addition, an exchange of views took place on the Caspian issues, assistance in the socio-economic revival of Afghanistan.
Continuing the theme of Turkmen-Russian relations, it should be also noted that on October 17 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a meeting with Secretary of State, Deputy Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation G.Karasin, during which the implementation of agreements reached at the top level was discussed.
On October 15, good news came from St. Petersburg that the Mejlis of Turkmenistan was admitted into the IPU membership by the unanimous decision of the 201st session of the Governing Council of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) held as part of the 137th Assembly of this organization. A significant activity of the organization is work on the promotion, protection and strengthening of democracy on the planet. The entry of the Turkmen state into this representative agency, which is one of the oldest organizations, is another evidence of the world recognition of successful activities ongoing in the country to strengthen civil institutions and democratic values.
The need for constructive cooperation for common interests was also emphasized at the International Conference “Peace, Stability and International Cooperation in the Caspian Region”, held in the Turkmen capital on October 18 with the participation of the representatives of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. A special emphasis during the forum was put on the five-sided documents to be signed, in particular, the agreements for cooperation between the Caspian states in the trade, economic and transport sectors that were developed in accordance with the proposals offered by the President of Turkmenistan at the Summit of the Heads of Caspian States that took place in 2014 in Astrakhan, the Russian Federation.
On October 13-14, the city of Turkmenbashi hosted the eighth meeting of the heads of seaport administrations of the Caspian states to discuss various aspects of cooperation in the fields of shipping, sea freight, safety navigation, port infrastructure development, logistical information exchanges, marine environment preservation, and other relevant issues. A separate topic on the meeting agenda was capacity building and upgrading the international rating of the Caspian ports.
The partnership in the field of know-how was the focus of the 1st Turkmen-Chinese Forum “Innovations, new technologies and the issues of their introduction into the industry”, organized by the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China. The main objective of a conference that took place in Ashgabat on October 11 was sharing experience and searching for new opportunities for cooperation between the two countries in the fields of alternative energy sources, energy saving technologies, innovations in agriculture, chemistry, seismology, medicine, pharmacology, biology and other areas.
On October 17, a conference hall of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan hosted the Turkmen-Japanese Seminar on sharing experience in natural disaster risk reduction. The Forum was organized as part of the Joint Project “Improving the system of seismological observations within and around the city of Ashgabat”, which is carried out by the Institute of Seismology and Atmospheric Physics of the AST and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).
The student debates for the UN Challenge Cup held in the representation of this organization in Turkmenistan were dedicated to the Day of the United Nations. The teams of the Turkmen State University named after Mahtumkuli, the Turkmen National Institute of World Languages named after Dovletmammet Azadi, the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the International University of Humanities and Development, the University of Engineering and Technology named after Oghuz Khan and the Turkmen State Institute of Economy and Management discussed in English the role of economic growth in achieving sustainable development of the country. The winner was the D.Azadi TNIWL team. At the end of the Cup awarding ceremony an interactive tour was organized to show the work of each of the United Nations agency, including the UNODC, UN-Women, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, WHO, IOM and UNRCCA.
On the eve of celebrating the 10th anniversary of opening the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia in Ashgabat, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan initiated a course of lectures for students of higher educational institutions of the country. The lectures were delivered by the heads of diplomatic missions of Turkmenistan in foreign countries. The main theme was about the history of preventive diplomacy, the contribution of the Turkmen state to strengthening peace and stability in the region and in the world, and major achievements of UNRCCA over the period of its activity.
In addition, on October 25, Turkmen diplomats gave thematic lectures at the Institute of International Relations, the International University of Humanities and Development, and at the Turkmen National Institute of World Languages named after D.Azadi.
On October 10-11, the OSCE Center in Ashgabat organized a two-day seminar on promoting the development of a safe national transport and trade infrastructure. The lectures were attended by representatives of ministries dealing with transport logistics, financial institutions, the State Customs Service, the State Border Service, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs and some other agencies. Foreign experts elaborated on the methodology for developing a roadmap to promote trade and transport, as well as the methods of analyzing the business process. The agenda also included such issues as multimodal transport and logistics systems, optimization of transport through energy efficiency.
Another seminar, organized by the OSCE Center in Ashgabat from 11 to 13 October, was on sharing an advanced world experience in the field of combating the legalization of proceeds from criminal activities (money laundering) through offshore zones.
On October 13, government officials, diplomats, and experts from research institutes and economic sectors from Central, South and South-West Asia participated in an academic forum organized as part of the Seventh Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII). During a meeting organized by the Center for Strategic Studies of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan in partnership with the Institute for International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the OSCE Center in Ashgabat, opportunities and new instruments for strengthening contacts in the region, in particular in the energy sector, were discussed.
On October 12, the Foreign Ministry hosted a meeting with the delegation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan headed by Deputy Foreign Minister Adela Raz. Having identified the existing potential for expanding a partnership, the parties stressed an important role of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Afghan Commission on Trade and Economic Cooperation. The Turkmen side, inter alia, stated that the regional economic integration is one of the priorities in the country’s foreign policy in the areas of energy and transport. During the talks, proposals on the implementation of a number of economic activities were discussed.
On October 12, in Muscat, the capital city of the Sultanate of Oman, the political consultations took place between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries. The agenda included the development of relations in various areas. A particular focus was on discussing the possibility for creating a Joint Turkmen-Oman Intergovernmental Commission for Trade and Economic Cooperation.
On October 16-17, the Foreign Ministry of Romania hosted the Turkmen-Romanian inter-foreign ministerial consultations, during which the parties discussed the issues of bilateral cooperation, including a partnership within the UN and its specialized agencies. An emphasis was made on the positive development dynamics of relations in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian sectors. Among the main topics of discussion were energy and transport.
On October 18-20, the Turkmen delegation was on a working visit to Dushanbe to meet with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan N.Zohidi and protocol department head of the friendly country’s Foreign Ministry Sh.Niyozov. The parties indicated the need for further development of cooperation between the foreign policy departments of the two countries, stressed the importance of further relations within the authoritative international organizations. The interest of the two states in development of partnership in the energy, transport, cultural, humanitarian, educational, science and sports fields was confirmed.
In October this year, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Chile Jose Manuel Silva Vidaurre and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the State of Israel Moshe Kamhi were accredited to Turkmenistan.
On October 26, in the Mejlis a meeting was held with Natalya Drozd, head of OSCE Center in Ashgabat, during which an interesting exchange of views took place on the cooperation prospects between Turkmenistan and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe. Specified among the priorities of partnership were the fuel, energy, trade, economic, transport and communications sectors, the ecological, environmental protection and humanitarian issues.
On the same day, the Mejlis hosted a meeting with the delegation of Romanian parliamentarians. Its participants with satisfaction indicated the progressive character of interstate contacts, which are successfully developing in both bilateral and multilateral formats, within the authoritative organizations and agencies, including a dialogue with the European Union. Particular attention was paid to the support to be given by legislators of the two countries to interstate trade and economic relations, expanding cultural and humanitarian contacts.
The 68th session of the Executive Committee of the Program of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was held last month in Geneva, Switzerland. In their speeches members of the Turkmen delegation identified the need for consolidating the world community’s work in addressing the urgent topics on the global agenda related to refugees. As was noted, these problems should be viewed from the humanitarian, as well as from the political, social and economic aspects. The support was expressed to resuming the work with UNHCR on the implementation of the main provisions contained in the Ashgabat Declaration adopted in May 2012 following the International Conference “Refugees in the Muslim World” that took place in Ashgabat. A special emphasis was placed on the importance of an international conference on the significance of participation of refugees in the Olympic movement to be held under the auspices of the United Nations in Turkmenistan in 2018. During a forum, great attention was paid to the further implementation of the provisions contained in the initiated by Turkmenistan Declaration on Encouraging the Valuable Contribution of the Olympic Teams of Refugees to Strengthening of Peace and Human Rights, adopted at the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council.
On October 31, a conference hall of the metropolitan Hotel “Yildiz” hosted a seminar with the participation of representatives of the Inter-Agency Commission on Implementing Turkmenistan’s International Human Rights Obligations and International Humanitarian Law. Foreign experts, in particular regional representatives of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and UNDP briefed the meeting participants on the final recommendations of the United Nations relevant committees in this field.
The forum was preceded by a regular meeting of the Inter-Agency Commission on Implementing Turkmenistan’s International Human Rights Obligations and International Humanitarian Law held earlier at the Turkmen National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan. During a meeting, the reports were heard on the work done by the Commission, and areas of further activities of this organization were discussed.
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