Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif plans to visit Ashgabat in late April and meet with President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov, reports Centralasia.news.
As the columnist for this publication in Central Asia reports, it is expected that during the meeting with the leadership of Turkmenistan, the Iranian Foreign Minister will discuss the issues of arrears in the payment of Turkmen natural gas, the restoration of contracts and the reduction of prices for it.
Turkmenistan and Iran are long-standing partners in the gas sector. Until the end of 2017, natural gas from Turkmenistan was delivered to Iran in accordance with bilateral agreements and a contract with the National Gas Company of Iran. Iran’s debt to Turkmenistan is about $ 2 billion.
Centralasia.news recalls that in May 2018, during the meeting with Rashid Meredov, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, voiced the intention of his country to expand friendly and good neighborly relations with all its neighbors, including Turkmenistan, relations between the two states, and these relations need to be strengthened.”
It is expected that during the meetings of the Iranian Foreign Minister with President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the Turkmen counterpart, a number of other issues will be considered, including the construction of the Mary-Sarakhs power line by Iranian companies, the settlement of bilateral relations under the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, the possibility of barter payment for electricity and railway services, supplies of Turkmen gas to Armenia on the basis of a swap exchange, as well as cultural and humanitarian cooperation.
In March 2018, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Hassan Rouhani, paid an official visit to Turkmenistan. The parties signed a package of documents for the development of mutually beneficial trade, economic and humanitarian cooperation.