The current state and prospects for further development of bilateral cooperation were discussed today during the next round of political consultations between the foreign ministries of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Turkmen delegation at the talks, which were held in format of video conference was headed by Vice-Premier, foreign Minister Rashid Meredov and Uzbek foreign Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulaziz Kamilov.
According to the Turkmen foreign Ministry, the foreign Ministers noted the high level of trust and mutual support of the two countries in the international arena.
The parties expressed confidence that in the current anniversary year, when the United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary and Turkmenistan is preparing to celebrate the 25th anniversary of its permanent neutrality, both States will significantly expand cooperation in the UN, including through active participation in the implementation of new ideas that they declared as their priority positions at the session of the General Assembly that opened a few days ago.
During the consultations, a special place was given to the discussion of regional issues. In this regard, the Turkmen side reaffirmed its approaches to solving the problems of the Aral Sea and water and energy issues in Central Asia. The main emphasis was placed on the need for the Central Asian countries to show mutual respect for each other's positions and take into account their legitimate interests. An example of such a relationship is the long-term and constructive cooperation between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the water sector, ecology and environmental protection.
Highlighting the importance of the two countries ' initiatives (the Turkmen one on preparing a special UN program for the Aral Sea basin countries and the Uzbek one on creating a multi-Partner UN trust Fund for human security for the Aral Sea region), the meeting participants provided information on their practical implementation.
A separate topic of discussion was cooperation in providing assistance to neighboring Afghanistan. It is generally recognized that Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan actively participate in international efforts to establish peace and civil harmony in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Both countries are implementing a number of major energy and infrastructure projects with the participation of the Afghan side. For example, Turkmenistan has made significant progress in implementing the TAPI gas pipeline projects, laying power lines and fiber-optic communication along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route, and building Railways in the direction of the IRA.
Along with political and diplomatic issues, the sides discussed the possibilities of expanding bilateral economic partnership, the main aspect of which is joint activities in the gas, electric power, transport and communication sectors, trade, agriculture and other areas.
As noted, today the trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan has a steady tendency to increase. Only by the results of 2019, its volumes increased by about 80 percent.
In order to boost trade and economic ties, the parties called for the preparation and holding of the next meeting of the joint intergovernmental Commission on trade, economic, scientific, technical and cultural cooperation in the fall of this year, as well as the first meeting of the Turkmen-Uzbek business Council.
According to the press service of the Uzbek foreign Ministry, the foreign Ministers also spoke in favor of the speedy implementation of the Ashgabat agreement on the formation of the international transport and communication corridor "Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman".
The delegations exchanged views on joint efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus and minimize the impact of the pandemic on bilateral cooperation.
The importance of further development of the dialogue in this area was also emphasized.
At the end of the meeting, the participants expressed their mutual readiness to organize bilateral political consultations on a systematic basis as an effective mechanism for interaction.