The Sixth Caspian Summit held last week in Ashgabat under the chairmanship of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov became a significant event in the development of regional partnership. Becoming a logical continuation of the previous summit meetings, the current forum has clearly demonstrated that the countries of the region are united in their desire to make the Caspian a sea of friendship and harmony and are ready to cooperate on the basis of justice and trust.
On the eve of the five-party summit talks, a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Caspian states was held at the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan, the central topic of discussion at which was the preparation for the Ashgabat Summit and the final coordination of the issues on its agenda.
The heads of the foreign ministries of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan also considered certain aspects of multifaceted cooperation in the Caspian Sea region, the progress in the practical implementation of the agreements reached earlier, and topical issues of international life.
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the Sixth Caspian Summit.
In anticipation of the Summit, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov held bilateral meetings with his foreign colleagues, during which priority issues of interstate relations and key areas of multifaceted partnership were discussed.
Speaking at the Summit, the head of the Turkmen state emphasized that the main condition for the success of the five-sided cooperation is the provision of strong, long-term and indivisible security in the Caspian region.
Among the urgent tasks in this context, the President of Turkmenistan highlighted the joint counteraction to terrorism, drug trafficking, organized crime, and any other illegal activity. Interstate cooperation in this direction is called upon to be highly effective, uncompromising in nature, built on a systematic basis, principles of collegiality and openness.
A significant function in this process is assigned to diplomatic channels, first of all, the mechanism of five-sided regular consultations under the auspices of the ministries of foreign affairs at the level of special plenipotentiaries of the Caspian states. This point is reflected in the Communiqué adopted in 2018 at the previous Summit in Aktau.
In this regard, the head of Turkmenistan noted the expediency of expanding the powers of this cooperation mechanism, entrusting it with the coordination of the development of sectoral agreements. Among them, of particular importance is the completion of work on the Agreement on the Methodology for Establishing Straight Baselines in the Caspian Sea.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov also spoke in favor of holding regular meetings at the level of heads of foreign affairs agencies on priority areas of partnership on all aspects of the five-sided agenda.
The head of state noted that the experts of the Caspian countries are preparing joint documents in the field of combating poaching, illegal drug trafficking, ensuring the safety of navigation, search and rescue at sea, and expressed the hope that work on these documents will be completed in the near future.
The President of Turkmenistan outlined the economic sphere as an unconditional priority for cooperation in the Caspian Sea, including transport, logistics, communications, energy, industrial cooperation and much more. In this sense, a breakthrough is the decision to create a promising, in many ways unique partnership format - the Caspian Economic Forum, which was first held in the city of Turkmenbashi in the summer of 2019. The decisions and agreements adopted then became a meaningful platform for the strategic planning of economic activities in the Caspian Sea, and above all, in the field of transport.
Calling the Caspian a sea of opportunities as a linking hub for transport and transit flows in Eurasia along the East-West and North-South lines, the head of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that its importance would only increase in the future. In this regard, it was noted that the littoral countries will have to seriously work on the construction and modernization of port infrastructure, building sustainable, reliable and efficient logistics schemes to turn the Caspian region into a comfortable, modern, profitable, and, as President Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasized, free from political conjuncture space for international flows of goods and services.
The head of Turkmenistan expressed his conviction that international business, financial institutions are attentive and interested in the Caspian region, understanding its potential and geo-economic value. To provide good conditions for entrepreneurship, free it from unnecessary, often obsolete, barriers, make the Caspian an attractive place for serious and long-term investments, for this we have every opportunity.
Speaking about the transport significance of the Caspian Sea, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed that in this area, with good reason, one can set an ambitious but realistic goal of turning it into an integral part of the revival of the Great Silk Road.
The President of Turkmenistan also touched upon the issue of industrial cooperation between the Caspian countries, which have vast natural resources, industrial and technological potential.
Their unification, the creation of partnership production lines, “integration corridors” are a hot topic. Private business has an important role to play here. In this regard, a proposal was put forward to create a Business Cooperation Council of the Caspian countries as an independent, without state interference, platform for close partner cooperation.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov outlined the protection of the environment of the Caspian Sea as a common important goal of the coastal countries, confirming the principled position of Turkmenistan on this issue: all economic and production activities must strictly correlate with the environmental safety of the reservoir, comply with recognized world standards in the environmental field. The initiative of Turkmenistan to develop an agreement on scientific research in the Caspian is aimed at increasing the effectiveness of joint activities in this direction.
The head of Turkmenistan in his speech also paid attention to the development of humanitarian ties between the Caspian countries, which continue the traditions of good neighborliness and support for each other, which also manifested itself during the coronavirus pandemic.
A proposal was put forward to develop a five-party agreement on cooperation in the field of culture, to improve regional partnerships in the tourism industry and in cruise shipping.
Turkmenistan, being an active participant in the all-Caspian dialogue, is ready to continue to contribute to this process, to discuss with interest and find agreed solutions on all issues, the head of state noted, adding that we have no closed or uncomfortable topics, we are ready, together with partners, to go to further agreements, interact on specific areas of the Caspian agenda.
In the speeches of the Presidents of Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, made at the Summit, the leaders also outlined specific proposals and initiatives aimed at further expanding economic ties between the Caspian states, interaction in the field of ecology, development of cultural and tourist cooperation.
The main emphasis was placed on the need to strictly follow the principles of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, which laid a solid foundation for the comprehensive deepening of five-sided cooperation across the entire spectrum of partnership.
A corresponding Communiqué was adopted as a result of the Sixth Caspian Summit.
The results of the Ashgabat Pentalateral Summit were announced in a statement to the media.
As noted, the Sixth Summit of the Heads of the Caspian States was held in a constructive, working atmosphere, in the spirit of good neighborliness, mutual trust, respect and openness. A detailed and interested exchange of views took place between the leaders of the countries on the main issues of five-sided cooperation in the Caspian Sea. The progress and implementation of previous decisions and agreements were analyzed, directions and priorities for further joint work were determined.
It was emphasized that the heads of the Caspian states reaffirmed their firm commitment to ensuring lasting peace, stability and security in the Caspian region, joining efforts and potentials for the implementation of confidence-building measures in the Caspian.
During the meeting, issues of economic cooperation in the Caspian Sea, the creation of a legal framework for partnership were considered.
In honor of the heads of the Caspian states, the President of Turkmenistan gave an official reception.
Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also met with high-ranking participants of the Sixth Caspian Summit.
The leaders of the Caspian states cordially congratulated Hero-Arkadag on his 65th birthday and wished him good health, longevity and further success in his noble deeds.
For his contribution to strengthening relations of friendship, good neighborliness and mutually beneficial cooperation between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was awarded the Order of the Golden Eagle (Altyn Kyran) - the highest award of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
The heads of foreign states and foreign politicians congratulated the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the 65th anniversary by telephone. The President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov and the Chairman of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation Valentina Matvienko wished the Hero-Arkadag good health, longevity and success in his many-sided activities.
In the evening of the same day, a festive concert was held in honor of the Arkadag of the Turkmen people on the square in front of the Türkmeniň ak öýi building in the Ak Bugday etrap with the participation of popular artists.
This celebration became a bright creative dedication to the Hero-Arkadag, Honorary Elder Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a prominent public and political figure of our time, known for his active position and innovative approach to solving global problems of mankind, who enjoys deservedly high authority in the international community.
Turning to the chronology of the events of the past week, we note that on June 27th, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov held a working meeting via a digital system, which discussed the progress of seasonal field work in the regions of the country, as well as the pace of construction of social, cultural and industrial facilities.
The President of the country outlined the completion of the harvest as soon as possible, ensuring the uninterrupted transportation of the harvested wheat to the points of reception and its proper storage, timely settlements with farmers for the delivered crop as the most important requirement of the day.
Arkadagly Serdar stressed the importance of all-round support for farmers who are striving to cultivate the land and get rich harvests of potatoes, vegetables and gourds, as well as to make a worthy contribution to ensuring the abundance of products in the country's markets.
Speaking about the rational use of agricultural land, the head of state instructed to study the issues of expanding and water supply of sown areas in the cultivated zone, increasing land fertility, as well as creating a permanent water management center in Kerki.
The President of the country also focused on the need to accelerate the pace of construction of various facilities scheduled for commissioning this year, ensure high quality work and complete them on schedule.
On the same day, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov held meetings with heads of Turkish companies - Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Çalik Holding group of companies Ahmet Chalyk, head of the Turkish company Polimeks Inşaat Taahhüt ve Sanayi Ticaret A.Ş. Erol Tabancay and Chairman of the Board of the Turkish company “Rönesans Holding” Erman Ilycak.
The prospects for further partnership based on the principles of mutual interest and mutual benefit were discussed.
The heads of the companies informed the head of state in detail about the implementation of the projects entrusted to them, and confirmed their readiness to continue effective cooperation.
The heads of Turkish companies were also received by the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Taking the opportunity, they wished the Hero-Arkadag long life, good health and success in large-scale state and social activities.
The interlocutors also paid attention to the prospects for a long-term fruitful partnership in the context of the priorities of the socio-economic development of Turkmenistan and the accumulated experience of joint work.
On June 27th, our country widely celebrated the Day of Workers of Culture and Art, as well as Magtymguly Fragi's Poetry.
The celebrations of the festive day began with the laying of flowers at the monument to Magtymguly, a brilliant philosopher and sage of the East, which is located in the historical center of Ashgabat, on one of the main thoroughfares of the capital, named after the great classic.
The ceremony was attended by representatives of ministries and sectoral departments, public organizations, political parties, elders, writers, poets, scientists, cultural figures, youth and the media.
An exhibition of works of art and printing products dedicated to Magtymguly Fragi was launched on the square in front of the monument.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Arkadag Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in a creative evening in honor of the significant date, which was held in the Türkmeniň ak öýi building, located in Nowruz ýaýlasy, Ak Bugday etrap, Ahal Velayat.
Modern music, lyrical songs, national poetic and classical music, as well as songs to the words of the Hero-Arkadag, sounded from the stage, were combined with a video telling about the large-scale reforms being implemented thanks to the efforts of Arkadagly Serdar, which gave a peculiar flavor to the concert.
One of the key moments of the celebration under the arches of “Türkmeniň ak öýi” was the symbolic handover of the baton of the Week of Culture, which, in accordance with the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan, will be held in Ashgabat in 2023.
A concert of domestic and foreign masters of art took place here the next day, on the eve of the Sixth Caspian Summit.
The participants included Fardavs Khoshimov from the Republic of Tajikistan, Mari Kraimbury, Artik & Asti from the Russian Federation, the Jukebox Trio from the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation, Amani Suissi from Tunisia, Dr. Alban from Sweden, Balkis from the United Arab Emirates, Emin Agalarov from the Russian Federation and the Republic of Azerbaijan, Demet Akalin from the Republic of Turkey, Aikon from the USA.
As true connoisseurs of beauty, they could not resist the incendiary rhythms of the ancient kushtdepdi dance performed by Turkmen artists and joined the dancers in unison.
The final chord of the holiday of creativity, inspiration and friendship was the song “Arkadagly Serdara şöhrat!”, which became a kind of anthem, the wonderful music and inspiring words of which reflected sincere pride in the successes and achievements of our country, faith in the wonderful future of the Fatherland, confidently following the path paved Hero-Arkadag and continued by Arkadagly Serdar, to new heights of development.
Priority aspects of the state policy were considered at the regular meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, which President Serdar Berdimuhamedov held on the digital system on July 1.
In particular, it was reported on the results of the working trip of the delegation of Milli Gengesh to the city of Baku of the Republic of Azerbaijan, initiated by the President of Turkmenistan, to participate in the conference of the Parliamentary Network of the Non-Aligned Movement - “Increasing the role of national parliaments in promoting peace and sustainable development in the world”.
During the visit to Baku, the Turkmen delegation also met with the Chairman of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during which an exchange of views took place on the use of the possibilities of parliamentary diplomacy in maintaining friendly interstate relations, as well as on the exchange of experience in law-making activities.
On June 23-24, members of the Halk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan took part in the XI Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic-speaking countries in the city of Cholpon-Ata of the Kyrgyz Republic. During the visit, meetings were held with representatives of foreign parliaments, where issues of cooperation in the development of lawmaking and the exchange of experience in organizing international events were discussed.
At the meeting of the Government, a proposal was made to create a coordinating Interdepartmental Commission consisting of the heads of relevant ministries and sectoral departments, as well as law enforcement agencies. The activities of the Commission will be aimed at improving the effectiveness of the national system for combating the legalization of proceeds from crime and the financing of terrorism through close cooperation between the parties involved both at the interdepartmental level and in the format of work with relevant entities.
Rreports were also given on the structure and tasks performed by the State Testing Laboratory of the Main State Service “Türkmenstandartlary” of Mary Velayat. In the future, as part of this organization, due to structural changes, it is planned to create departments for testing furniture, metal, oil products and toxicological testing. In this regard, it was proposed to build a new building of the State Testing Laboratory of the Main State Service “Türkmenstandartlary” of the Mary velayat and equip it with the necessary equipment.
The President of Turkmenistan was informed about the deposits of drinking water identified by the specialists of the State Corporation “Türkmengeologiýa”.
As noted, as a result of hydrogeological exploration work in the city of Turkmenabat and the Chardzhev etrap of the Lebap velayat, on the left bank of the Amu Darya, at the Turkmenabat site, located on the banks of the Boyrabap and Berzen drainage systems, deposits of drinking water with a total area of 130.8 square kilometers were discovered and registered as an underground deposit Turkmenabat. The volume of reserves of this deposit will allow uninterrupted supply of clean drinking water to the local population.
Information was provided on the measures taken by the Ministry of Industry and Construction Production to build new and modernize existing industries, specializing in the production of import-substituting and export-oriented products, as well as to create additional jobs. In this context, proposals prepared on the basis of an international tender for the construction of workshops in the country's velayats were submitted for consideration by the head of state.
A separate topic of the meeting was the results of the Sixth Caspian Summit, during which important decisions were made that meet common interests.
It was noted that the Summit has become a significant political event on a regional and global scale. Currently, proposals are being prepared regarding the implementation of work and the adoption of systemic steps for the practical implementation of the agreements reached as a result of the Ashgabat Summit and the initiatives of the heads of the Caspian littoral states. These proposals are supposed to be sent for consideration to the coastal countries through diplomatic channels.
At the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, issues related to expanding access to Internet services, the introduction of digital technologies, the study and development of the best world practices in these segments were also discussed.
According to the Law of Turkmenistan “On legal regulation of the development of the Internet and the provision of Internet services in Turkmenistan”, the national top-level domain “.tm” is state property and is managed from the territory of our country.
As a result of regular negotiations on the legal and technical aspects of this issue, positive agreements were reached and proposals were received from a number of foreign companies with extensive experience in this area.
The joint work will create the necessary material and technical base of the Türkmendomen Economic Society and favorable conditions for the independent management of the national top-level domain.
The national top-level domain “.tm” is one of the most sought after by a number of companies around the world due to the English abbreviation “Trade Mark”, which is used as the address of their products by domestic manufacturers and companies on websites to show ownership to Turkmenistan.
In this regard, a proposal to conclude an investment agreement between the ES “Turkmendomen” and the relevant company was submitted for consideration by the head of state.
Among other issues discussed at the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers are the use of renewable and alternative energy sources, the development of a systematic trade dialogue between the border regions of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the state of affairs at the construction of a shopping center in the Choganly residential area of Ashgabat, the realization of the potential of the domestic tourism industry, preparation for holding the World SAMBO Championships in the Turkmen capital in 2025.
At the meeting, the head of state signed a number of documents. Among them: the Resolution “On the purchase of equipment and spare parts for the Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries” and “On the construction of the International Air Terminal Complex in the village of Jebel, Balkan Velayat”, as well as the Resolution on the conclusion of a contract between the State Electricity Corporation “Türkmenenergo” of the Ministry of Energy and “Çalik Enerji Sanaýi we Tijaret A.Ş.” company (Republic of Turkey) for the design and construction of a multi-profile solar and wind power plant with a capacity of 10 MW in the Serdar etrap of the Balkan velayat and the purchase of equipment and materials for laying a power transmission line from the Serdar power plant to the above facility.
On July 1st, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov received Vice President of the Republic of Turkey Fuat Oktay, who is the co-chairman of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Turkish Commission on Economic Cooperation and arrived in Ashgabat at the head of his country's delegation to participate in the regular meeting of this Commission.
During the meeting, the prospects for the Turkmen-Turkish partnership were discussed, and in this context, the role of the Intergovernmental Commission in building up productive trade and economic ties and identifying new, relevant areas of interaction was noted.
As President Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasized, taking a course towards industrialization and diversification of the economy, Turkmenistan relies on the formation of a modern industrial infrastructure, which, in turn, creates wide opportunities for effective cooperation with foreign, including Turkish partners.
Mutual confidence was expressed that the traditionally friendly interstate dialogue would continue to develop successfully on a mutually beneficial long-term basis.
Ashgabat hosted the 6th meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Turkish Commission on Economic Cooperation, during which the heads of ministries and departments of Turkmenistan discussed the development of bilateral partnership with members of the delegation of a friendly country headed by Vice President of the Republic of Turkey Fuat Oktay.
Construction and building materials industry, energy, transport, food industry, agriculture, strengthening of mutual contacts through business and entrepreneurial structures were identified among the topical areas of cooperation. In this regard, issues of further promotion and expansion of the range of products of Turkmen and Turkish manufacturers in the markets of the two countries were discussed.
On the same day, the Turkmen-Turkish business forum was held, focused on the intensification of bilateral partnership in the context of long-term plans for the future.
Last week, in accordance with the Order of the President of Turkmenistan, the delegation of our country made a working trip to the city of Hanoi of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, during which a business meeting, meetings and negotiations were held to develop mutually beneficial cooperation in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, scientific and educational and urban planning spheres.
Members of the Turkmen delegation, which included specialists from the construction industry, the Foreign Ministry, the educational sector, entrepreneurs, representatives of public organizations, discussed issues of mutual interest with their Vietnamese colleagues and outlined directions for a comprehensive build-up of bilateral partnership.
On July 2nd, on the eve of one of the main Muslim holidays - Eid al-Adha - a group of Turkmen pilgrims representing all the velayats and the capital of the country took a dedicated flight, organized in accordance with the Order of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov by the Türkmenhowaýollary agency, to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where they will join the millions of pilgrims from all over the world who arrive on these blessed days in Mecca and Medina to perform the rites of worship of the sacred Kaaba and other traditional rituals.
In general, the events of the past week clearly reflected the dynamism of the policy of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, who firmly and consistently puts the colossal peacekeeping, economic, humanitarian potential of the country at the service of his people and all of humanity.