On July 2, the Turkmen-Georgian summit talks took place in Tbilisi in the framework of the state visit of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov to Georgia.
The meeting was held in the Georgian Presidential Palace, on the square in front of which President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili cordially welcomed President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.
After the official welcoming ceremony, the bilateral summit talks were held in the “one-to-one” format.
Emphasizing that he was sincerely glad to take the Turkmen leader in Tbilisi, President Giorgi Margvelashvili noted great importance Georgia attached to this state visit of Turkmenistan’s President.
Taking advantage of the opportunity, the Georgian President congratulated the head of Turkmenistan on the recently celebrated birthday and wished him sound health, prosperity and new outstanding success in his large-scale and noble work for the prosperity of the country and happy life of the Turkmen people.
Truly grateful to President Giorgi Margvelashvili for the invitation to pay an official visit to Georgia and for the cordial welcome, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov has highlighted that Turkmenistan, for its part, also attaches great importance to strengthening the traditionally friendly relations with Georgia based on the principles of mutual respect, trust and the sides’ reciprocal strive for expanding the productive and strategically significant partnership.
Welcoming community or similarity of the two countries’ positions on the issues of international agenda, the head of Turkmen state addressed the Georgian leader words of appreciation for the support by Georgia of Turkmenistan’s initiatives aimed at enhancing international interaction in the energy, transport and communications sector. The President of Turkmenistan has expressed special appreciation to Georgia for supporting the corresponding Resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly and the Resolution “Permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan” adopted on June3, 2015 at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly. Pending the subject, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov called for further intensification of the UN-encouraged Turkmen-Georgian cooperation.
Regarding the trade-economic sphere, transport and energy industries, as well as the humanitarian sphere among the promising trends of bilateral cooperation, the head of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that the current negotiations would provide a good opportunity for all-round consideration of priority issues of the Turkmen-Georgian relations.
In the course of the meeting which was held in the atmosphere of understanding, business-like and constructive key, the leaders of two states discussed the implementation progress of the earlier-achieved bilateral agreements, having sorted out key vectors of the by-now and future-orientated cooperation. The President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov and President Giorgi Margvelashvili confirmed mutual readiness of Turkmenistan and Georgia to actively develop productive partnerships and bring it to a qualitatively new level.
The sides also exchanged views on a number of focal regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Further, the enlarged negotiations kept going in the Ekvtime Takaishvili Hall with the participation of official delegations of the two countries.
Highly appraising the level of interstate partnership, the President of Georgia has noted that the reached agreements created a secure basis for furthering the traditional political dialogue, development of fruitful cooperation in the trade-economic, scientific-technical, cultural-humanitarian spheres.
The proximity was stressed of the parties’ positions on the issues of international policy.
Pretty certain that the visit of the Turkmen state’s head would promote further strengthening of the ties of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries and nations, President Giorgi Margvelashvili has underlined that, for its part, Georgia would fully support the effective implementation of the agreements reached.
In turn, the Turkmen leader noted the fruitful and substantive nature of the current negotiations with the President of Georgia during which the counterparts exchanged views on the urgent issues of international policy, discussed all the aspects of bilateral relations, analyzed implementation of the previous agreements, and identified concrete trends and ways of the future-orientated cooperation.
Discussing the Turkmen-Georgian interaction on the world arena in the framework of the authoritative international structures, primarily with the UN and the OSCE famous for their vast experience of cooperation, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov has emphasized that Georgia always supported the initiatives of Turkmenistan, in particular in the sphere of energy security, partnership in the transport sector, sustainable development, and other areas.
As President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov noted, both countries pursue self-selected independent policy on the world arena in accordance with its national interests. We respect the foreign-policy course chosen by Georgia and observe that our Georgian partners have the same approach to Turkmenistan’s policy based on the status of neutrality, the head of Turkmen state said.
Welcoming intensification and upward development of the inter-parliamentary dialogue, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov noted that these relationships were a powerful tool of understanding and experience exchange in the law-making sphere.
Regarding the trade-economic relations as an integral component of the multidimensional bilateral cooperation, the head of Turkmen state has stressed advisability of putting the development and implementation of large-scale international projects with participation of Turkmenistan and Georgia in the forefront in the light of modern realities. First and foremost, the talk is about the energy and transport spheres.
In this context, the leader of nation has noted that over recent years, the Turkmen-Georgian interaction in the energy sector was notably intensified. Bilateral and multilateral consultations are held regularly with participation of other states concerned. As it is known, in the running year’s May, Ashgabat hosted a quadripartite meeting on the development of cooperation in the energy sector with participation of representatives of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and the European Union. During the meeting, the dovetailed positions were outlined on making an offer to Georgia to participate in building the piped system infrastructure for supplying energy carriers from the Caspian region to the West.
The project is extremely promising, for its meets not only the interests of our countries, but will give a powerful impetus for ensuring energy security in the Eurasian area, where today the issues of the energy supply routes diversification are very important, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov said. In this context, the head of Turkmen state has emphasized that guided by the solely economic interests, Turkmenistan and Georgia oppose any attempts of the partnership’s politicization in the energy sector. As the nation’s leader noted, the parties agreed to continue cooperation on this issue and arrived to a common opinion with other partners concerned. In this regard, the relevant departments of the two countries will be given specific commissions.
President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov outlined the transport sector as yet another important strategic vector of interaction.
As it is known, in last year’s September, Ashgabat hosted a quadripartite meeting on creating of the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia transport corridor. The project is aimed at creating new opportunities of getting an access to world markets for the project-members and other states of the region. Its implementation would contribute to the intensification of continental trade and economic relations, the head of Turkmen state said, noting thereupon that Turkey was also interested in the project.
Speaking about the important role in expanding trade and economic cooperation of the intergovernmental Turkmen-Georgian Commission, the nation’s leader addressed the abovementioned structure the proposal to deeply analyze the state of affairs and to find the ways for increasing the volumes of mutual trade turnover.
The leader of nation spoke in favor of greater involvement of private businesses into the implementation of intergovernmental plans and programs, as well as to make customary the practice of holding the specialized exhibitions, joint business forums in the two countries.
Speaking of the dialogue in the cultural-humanitarian sphere, the head of state noted the sides’ similarity of views on the problems of honoring the centuries-old national heritage, its enrichment in harmony with the present. Creation of necessary conditions for creative intelligentsia, holding of international festivals, symposia, creative exchanges, Culture Days in both countries would contribute to further development and strengthening of mutual understanding and ties of friendship between the peoples of Turkmenistan and Georgia, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov emphasized.
The head of Turkmen state expressed confidence in the efficiency and mutual benefit of the combination of scientific potential, experience and elaborations of the two countries’ scientists.
The leader of nation noted the need to study the issue of establishing direct contacts between the leading high schools of the two countries for training highly qualified specialists in the demand-driven specialties.
The Turkmen leader expressed appreciation for Georgia’s support of the Resolution “Permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan” adopted on June3, 2015 at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly, thereby endorsing again the legal status of neutrality of Turkmenistan which was supported by 185 member-states of the United Nations on December 12, 1995. The head of Turkmen state invited the President of Georgia to participate in the International conference and festive events dedicated to the 20th anniversary of neutrality of our country to be held jointly with the United Nations in Ashgabat in this year’s December.
After the talks in the expanded format, the bilateral documents’ signing ceremony took place in the Dome Hall.
The documents signed are: the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia; the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Finance of Turkmenistan and the Service of Financial Control of Georgia on cooperation in the exchange of financial information related to the legalization of income earned by illegal means, and financing of terrorism; the Memorandum of Understanding in the field of sports between the State Sport Committee of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs of Georgia; the Memorandum of Cooperation in education between the Ministry of Education of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia; the Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of Georgia on cooperation in the field of culture and art; the Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of Georgia on the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Georgian Economic Cooperation Commission.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov and President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili put their signatures under the Joint Statement.
After the signing ceremony, the heads of two states made a statement to the representatives of mass media.
Making public the results of talks, the Georgian President stressed that the reached agreements were of great importance not only for Turkmenistan and Georgia but also for the whole region in general. It was also noted that Georgia fully supports the initiatives of Turkmenistan in the field of energy and bringing the country’s energy resources to world markets. At the same time, the Georgian leader informed, the parties came to an agreement on joint development of transport corridors, including the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia corridor, and declared their readiness to bilaterally encourage implementation of the issue-related measures.
Commenting on the results of the summit, the President of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that bilateral cooperation would continue to develop on a long-term basis acquiring a strategic character.
Acknowledging similarity or coincidence of positions of Turkmenistan and Georgia on the international issues, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov has emphasized that the goals of two countries coincide in this aspect too, and the most important of them are: global peacekeeping, security, prosperity and sustainable development.
Emphasizing the constructive character of the talks held in the traditionally friendly atmosphere, the President of Turkmenistan, taking advantage of the opportunity, expressed cordial appreciation to his Georgian colleague for the contribution to strengthening of bilateral relations and wished him great achievements in his responsible state activity, and the people of Georgia – peace, wellbeing and prosperity.
In the afternoon, there was an official dinner of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov and the Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, in the course of which the head of Turkmen state and the head of the Georgian government exchanged views on the current state and prospects of bilateral cooperation, noting availability of favorable opportunities for the development of fruitful cooperation in both the trade-economic and humanitarian-cultural fields.
Thereupon, special accent was placed on the significance of the summit talks, resulting documents, and, in general, on the agreements achieved by the parties aimed at unleashing the many-dimensional potential of partnership. In this context, an overriding role was stressed of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Georgian Commission designed to promote development of new workable forms of cooperation and intensification of mutually beneficial business relations on a long-term basis, as well as actuality of holding joint business forums.
The energy sphere, transport and communications sector, including interaction in the development of transport corridors in the light of the Caspian and Black Sea regions’ potential conditioned by the advantageous geographical position of Turkmenistan and Georgia, were identified as the important directions of partnership.
However, not the least significant is to deepen the mutuality-based contacts, joint activities and experience exchange in the sphere of education, science and culture, health, sports and tourism.
Upon completion of the luncheon, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov and Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili expressed confidence in further successful development of inter-state relations at the broad range of trends and spheres.
President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov had also a meeting with Chairman of the Parliament of Georgia David Usupashvili.
During the meeting, the Turkmen President was acquainted with the structure and focal aspects of activities of the Georgian Parliament consisting of 150 members elected for a 4-year term on the basis of universal suffrage.
President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov also acquainted the representatives of the Georgian Parliament with the key trends of activity of Turkmenistan’s Mejlis, assigned an important part in the context of ensuring legislative support of large-scale reform-oriented changes.
Welcoming establishment of the inter-parliamentary friendship groups in the law-making bodies of Turkmenistan and Georgia, intensification of relations between the parliamentarians of the two countries, the head of state expressed readiness of Turkmenistan to provide comprehensive assistance to this work.
Leaving the Parliament building, the head of Turkmen state wrote a memorial entry to the Distinguished Visitors’ Book.
That same day, the President of Turkmenistan took part in the flower-laying ceremony to the Monument erected in the Heroes Square in the heart of Tbilisi.
In the evening, President Giorgi Margvelashvili gave an official dinner in honor of the distinguished Turkmen guest. In the speeches the heads of two states exchanged during the dinner, the two leaders have confirmed Turkmenistan’s and Georgia’s invariable adherence to the relations of friendship and interest-based cooperation, having addressed thereby best wishes and greetings to the nations of both countries.
On July 3, the National Library of Georgia hosted a ceremony of conferring on the President of Turkmenistan the academic title of “Academician Emeritus” of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia.
Representatives of Georgia’s scientific community, the teaching staff of the friendly country’s higher education institutions, as well as Turkmenistan’s official delegation members assembled there to mark the important occasion.
Opening the grand ceremony, President of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia Giorgi Kvesitadze warmly greeted the eminent guest on behalf of the ceremony participants, having stressed that the day would go down in the history of interstate relations as a particularly remarkable event.
Having introduced the audience to the large-scale scientific activities of the Turkmen leader, an initiator of the fundamental reforms ongoing under his guidance and aimed to rank Turkmenistan among the developed states of the world, as well as bring the Turkmen science up to a new higher level and promote advancement of the international partnership in this field, Giorgi Kvesitadze announced the resolution adopted by the Academic Council of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia on bestowing the academic title of “Academician Emeritus” on President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov. As was highlighted, the head of Turkmenistan was awarded this high title for his great personal contribution to strengthening cooperation between Central Asia and South Caucasus and friendly relations between the Turkmen and Georgian peoples.
Ceremoniously, to the applause of the event attendees, the head of the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia presented the President of Turkmenistan with a certifying diploma.
Addressing the ceremony participants, the Turkmen leader expressed his gratitude for conferring the high title on him. As President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov stressed, introduction of technologies, innovations, scientific achievements into all sectors of the national economy was a priority task of Turkmenistan’s state development policy. Today, much work is carried out in this area. Thus, July 12 is declared as Science Day in Turkmenistan; the material-technical base of higher education institutions, research laboratories, scientific production associations, enterprises, institutes is being strengthened, and on this basis the scientific activity is coordinated on the whole.
The measures are taken to get young people involved in the scientific activities, the head of state continued, having emphasized that talented young scientists are annually awarded for their effective work. Among the major achievements in the field of scientific development, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov mentioned the opening of the region’s largest Technology Center in the Turkmen capital.
Addressing the audience, the nation’s leader stressed the importance of the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia, which had been signed the day before by the outcomes of the top-level talks. The document is aimed to attach a powerful impetus to the productive interaction between Turkmen and Georgian scientists.
Speaking of the large-scale and multi-aspect national programs adopted in Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov has noted with satisfaction that over 20 states evince interest in taking part in the projects realization. Concentrating attention of the people assembled on the two large programs – the Program for the country’s industrialization until 2030 and the Rural Development Program until 2030 - the Turkmen leader has highlighted that their successful implementation requires application of the latest scientific achievements.
As the head of Turkmenistan stressed, the oil and gas complex with its untapped resources is a priority sector. Our future-oriented goal is - to set up the innovative oil and gas processing facilities. To tackle the task, an impressive body of work is being done in our country at present - the foundations were laid of a number of plants with over US $28 billion total budget, the nation’s leader said, having invited the Georgian party to participate in those projects.
Placing accent on the advisability and expedience of applying integrating efforts in the agriculture, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov invited Georgian scientists to join the research activities ongoing in that sphere.
Nowadays, the development of technologies, telecommunications, and high-speed Internet services is a priority trend, the head of state went on. Having stressed that Turkmenistan has recently launched its artificial satellite, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov stated that preparations are now in progress for launching the second satellite of the country. In this context, Georgia is seen as a potential partner of our country in this sphere.
The nation’s leader has also highlighted the significance of promoting fruitful partnership in the humanities, in particular, in history and archeology, the study of Turkmen and Georgian peoples’ cultural heritage.
Speaking of the epos “Gerogly” – an outstanding literary monument of the Turkmen people, the head of Turkmenistan has stressed that the work also testifies to the centuries-old Turkmen-Georgian relations. The historical sources available on the fortresses of Gerogly gala and Akhal gala, located in Georgia, are the clearest evidence of it.
One of the oldest copies of the epic “Gerogly” in the Turkmen language is currently kept at the Institute for Manuscripts of Georgia, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov noted with satisfaction, having stressed that the name of the main hero of the ancient epic – Gerogly Turkmen, is an eloquent evidence of the community of Turkmen and Georgian peoples’ ancient history, their interaction since earliest times.
Touching upon the recent bilateral talks, the head of Turkmenistan noted with satisfaction the productivity of meetings with the President of Georgia and the Prime Minister, as well as of the reception in the Parliament. As the nation’s leader emphasized, the energy sector and building of transport-transit infrastructure were defined among the strategic issues of interstate cooperation.
Speaking of the gas pipeline projects, the Turkmen leader has underlined that the ecological aspect serves as a key point in the process. The President of Turkmenistan stated that the issue should be considered with a glance to the interests and rights of the producers, transiters and consumers. “In prospect, Georgia will be both a transiter and a consumer for us,” the head of state said, having called to closer cooperation in that field.
In the light of the advantageous geographical and geo-economic location of our countries, Turkmenistan welcomes the Georgian party’s willingness to provide support in the issues of logistics, the Turkmen leader said.
In conclusion, the President of Turkmenistan once again congratulated the ceremony attendees on signing the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the National Academy of Sciences of Georgia. Truly grateful to the leadership of the Academy of Sciences of Georgia for high appraisal of his activity, the nation’s leader wished the friendly country’s scientific community and all the ceremony participants new achievements and success.
After the ceremony of conferring the high title “Academician Emeritus” on the President of Turkmenistan, the presidential motorcade proceeded to the Holy Trinity Cathedral.
At the entrance to the Cathedral, the high Turkmen guest was welcomed by President of Georgia Giorgi Margvelashvili and Bishop Joanne. The head of Turkmenistan was given insight into the history of the Cathedral and its architectural features.
The Holy Trinity Cathedral - the Georgia’s main Orthodox Church, is located on the St. Elias Hill, in Avlabari. The unique building was constructed between 1995 and 2004, upon the project of Archil Mindiashvili.
As per the project, the 11-hectare complex consists of the Cathedral, a chapel, a residence of the Patriarch, a monastery, theological seminary and academy, a hotel, and other auxiliary buildings.
The Turkmen leader was shown several valuable icons and a large handwritten Bible, which are on display during the festive services and visits paid to the Cathedral by the eminent guests.
Bishop Joanne also told that the Cathedral (15,000-capacity) was opened on November 23, 2004 on St. George’s Day and consecrated by His Holiness and Catholicos Patriarch of All Georgia Ilha II. Nowadays, the complex is considered to be a new symbol of faith and new achievements in Georgia.
Consideration was also given to the issues of cooperation in the cultural-humanitarian. Turkmenistan is accomplishing great task-oriented work in this direction, including the large-scale humanitarian projects. Today, the most favorable conditions are created in our country for encouraging fruitful cultural contacts with different countries, including Georgia, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov said, having emphasized that tolerance, respect for representatives of other religions – one of the main features of the Turkmen people’s national character.
The main religions of the world, including Islam and Christianity, are based on the principles of kindness, humanism and philanthropy. The Turkmen people appreciate the universal moral virtues and principles, and value the interethnic and interfaith harmony in the country, for it is a key condition for maintaining peace and stability, as well as for promoting better understanding between the peoples.
Speaking of the importance of advancing the traditional cultural-humanitarian relations and productive dialogue on studying and popularizing the two friendly peoples’ rich historical and cultural heritage, the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Georgia have agreed that such connections, to a considerable degree, invest in strengthening the interstate relations.
After the visit to the Cathedral, the automobile of the nation’s leader proceeded to the Tbilisi International Airport.
The heads of Turkmenistan and Georgia had a short conversation at the airport. Highly appraising the outcomes of the talks that had marked a new epoch in the history of the two friendly peoples’ relations, President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov warmly waved goodbye to President Giorgi Margvelashvili. Extending gratitude to the Turkmen leader for the visit which had laid a solid foundation for further productive cooperation, the Georgian leader wished him a good trip.
Then the President of Turkmenistan came on board of “Boeing” to depart for Ashgabat. In the afternoon, the presidential airliner landed at the International Airport of the Turkmen capital.
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