Clearly following the policy of “open doors” and international cooperation implemented by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, independent neutral Turkmenistan puts forward progressive initiatives and takes active part in the efforts of the world community to address pressing issues of our time, ensure global peace and security, and create favorable conditions for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals on a regional and global scale.
In this regard, the first month of 2023 was very indicative. The multifaceted events held by ministries and departments both in the country and abroad include bilateral and multilateral meetings, inter-MFA consultations, business negotiations, conferences, exhibitions and forums at various levels.
On January 8-10, a delegation of parliamentarians from Turkmenistan took part in the 13th plenary session of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly (APA) in Antalya (Turkiye). During the meeting, it was noted that our country attaches particular importance to interaction in various formats in the field of ensuring peace and security through parliamentary diplomacy, cooperation in the fields of energy, transport, ecology and cultural and humanitarian lines in the international space.
Following the meeting, a declaration was adopted.
Within the framework of the forum, a meeting was held with the Chairman of the Turkish Grand National Assembly and APA, Mustafa Sentop, at which the importance of a constructive exchange of views and the significance of such events from the point of view of more active use of the possibilities of parliamentary diplomacy was emphasized.
The role of inter-parliamentary dialogue in strengthening multifaceted ties between the two countries both on a bilateral basis and on multilateral platforms, including the Asian Parliamentary Assembly and the Parliamentary Assembly of Turkic States, was also noted.
At the meeting held on January 9 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of our country with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran for Economic Diplomacy Mahdi Safari, a wide range of issues of interaction in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, including in the fuel and energy and transport and transit sectors.
The event, organized on the same day at the Institute of International Relations, dedicated to the motto of 2023 “Happy youth with Arkadag Serdar”, was attended by the heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan, employees of the diplomatic service of our country, representatives of the Magtymguly Youth Organization, faculty and university students.
The speakers noted the leading role of youth in determining the future of our state, the importance of protecting their rights and freedoms, educating the younger generation in the spirit of patriotism and humanism.
The necessity of developing a strategy for international youth cooperation, as well as conducting joint research projects with foreign peers in various fields, in particular, in such areas as education, science, culture, sports, parliamentary diplomacy, was emphasized.
On January 10th, meetings were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the newly appointed Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kyrgyz Republic and the State of Qatar in Turkmenistan, during which issues of strengthening relations in various areas of bilateral and multilateral partnership were considered.
The fruitful nature of the long-term cooperation of Turkmenistan with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) was emphasized at a meeting held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on January 16th via videoconference with the Executive Director of the Program Inger Andersen.
The parties noted the expediency of implementing joint projects in the field of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, discussed areas and prospects for cooperation in the field of environmental protection, climate change, ecology and rational use of natural resources.
In addition, the initiative of Turkmenistan was announced to establish a Regional Center for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia, headquartered in Ashgabat, the purpose of which should be technological advancement in the field of climate change in the region, adaptation to climate change in the Caspian Sea, and also development of the concept of marine spatial planning of the Turkmen part of the Caspian Sea.
During the Turkmen-French political consultations held on January 16-17, and, the Turkmen-German inter-ministerial political consultations on January 27th, a wide range of issues of cooperation in the political-diplomatic, trade-economic, cultural and humanitarian fields, as well as within the framework of regional and international structures were discussed. especially the UN.
Attention was paid to deepening inter-parliamentary ties, joint implementation of agreements in the field of ecology and environmental protection, archeology and museum work, in the fields of education and healthcare.
The next significant step in establishing fruitful cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation was the Turkmen-Russian business forum held on January 19th in the conference hall of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for participation in which a delegation of the Russian Federation headed by the Chairman of the Government of Russia M. Mishustin. Among the guests are the President of the Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation R. Minnikhanov, heads of a number of other subjects of the Russian Federation.
The delegation of a friendly country includes heads and leading specialists of government agencies, sectoral ministries, government agencies and non-profit organizations, higher educational institutions, large companies and enterprises specializing in various areas of economic activity.
Within the framework of the forum, meetings were held between representatives of a number of ministries and sectoral departments of the two countries, during which issues of further expansion of effective contacts were considered, including in the field of industrial cooperation and construction production, innovation and information technologies, in the transport, logistics and energy sectors, cooperation in lines of cultural and educational institutions, as well as prospects for partnerships in the field of pharmaceuticals and medicine, in the agro-industrial complex, etc.
As noted, ample opportunities are opening up for the exchange of experience in such areas as the creation of special economic zones, industrial and technology parks, engineering and research centers, the development of nano- and IT technologies, the production of composite materials, and robotics.
Meetings in various formats held on January 20th at the Yyldyz Hotel, along with a joint meeting of the Turkmen-Russian and Russian-Turkmen Business Councils, were devoted to discussing issues of a multifaceted bilateral dialogue and concretizing plans for interaction.
Representatives of sectoral departments, large production structures and business companies of the two countries exchanged views and proposals on new opportunities for cooperation in the field of industrial cooperation, construction production, innovative and information technologies, transport and logistics, agriculture, food exports, etc.
As a result of the meeting of the Business Councils, which were held, including through the digital system, more than 20 documents were signed. Among them are contracts for export-import operations, in the service sector, as well as agreements and memorandums of understanding.
Prospects for the development of interstate Turkmen-Russian relations in trade, economic, energy, transport, agriculture and other areas were discussed during the meetings of the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on January 19-20 with the Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Mikhail Mishustin and the President Republic of Tatarstan of the Russian Federation Rustam Minnikhanov.
At the talks held on January 23rd at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as well as at the State Committee for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography of Turkmenistan with the delegation of the European information television channel Euronews, which was in Turkmenistan on a working visit, the fruitful partnership that has developed over the past decade was noted.
Particular attention was paid to promising joint projects to highlight the transformations taking place in Turkmenistan, in particular, events of international and regional significance held in our country. Plans aimed at long-term interaction in the international information space have been defined.
On January 24th, the Turkmen delegation took part in the 26th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the member countries of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), held in the city of Tashkent (Republic of Uzbekistan), where issues of enhancing regional cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, “green” economy, digitalization, energy, food security, ecology, agriculture, transport, etc.
At the meeting on the same day with the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, directions for further building up Turkmen-Uzbek relations in the trade, economic, industrial, fuel and energy sectors and in the cultural and humanitarian sphere were considered.
During the regular meeting of the Joint Working Group on the delimitation of the bottom of the Caspian Sea between the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, held on January 24-25 in Ashgabat, the discussion of the provisions of the draft of the relevant Agreement between the two states continued. The meeting was attended by representatives of relevant ministries and relevant departments of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Azerbaijan.
Representatives of the structural divisions of the United Nations, its specialized agencies, UN member states, international and regional organizations, civil society, as well as teachers and students of universities of Turkmenistan took part in an official event held on January 27 at the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a hybrid format. The forum is dedicated to the announcement of 2023 as the “International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace” in accordance with Resolution 77/32 of the United Nations General Assembly, adopted at the initiative of Turkmenistan.
The global campaign in the name of Dialogue as a guarantee of peace has become a clear confirmation that our country is not limited to putting forward significant initiatives aimed at developing broad cooperation that meets the fundamental interests of all countries and peoples, but is also taking consistent steps based on the principle of permanent neutrality, in their practical implementation in order to support the efforts of the international community to peacefully resolve conflicts.
Prospects for inter-parliamentary cooperation, issues of expanding contacts within the relevant committees, exchange of experience in the legislative field are the topics of interested discussion at the meeting of the Chairwoman of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan G. Mammedova with the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation V. Volodin, which took place on January 30th with the participation of members of the delegations of both countries.
Emphasizing that the dynamics of the development of bilateral relations are set by the heads of state, the Chairman of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation spoke about the need to take all measures to ensure legislative implementation of the agreements reached at the highest level. At the same time, the importance of further intensifying inter-parliamentary relations was noted, which is one of the tasks outlined in the Declaration on deepening the strategic partnership, signed by the Presidents of Russia and Turkmenistan in June 2022.
As stated, the impetus for the development of inter-parliamentary relations between the two countries was given by the meeting with the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who visited Moscow in November last year.
The parties noted the importance of promoting, within the framework of the parliamentary dimension, the strengthening of interstate trade, economic, humanitarian and cultural ties, and increasing the effectiveness of joint projects. The importance of partnership at various multilateral platforms was emphasized.
Thus, the events held by the ministries and departments of the country last month became another evidence of the successful implementation of the important tasks outlined by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to implement the peace-loving foreign policy of Turkmenistan, actively developing a constructive international dialogue in the interests of peace and common prosperity.