President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held telephone talks with President of the European Council Charles Michel today.
The telephone conversation, which took place at the initiative of the President of the European Council, was devoted to the current situation in Afghanistan and the formation of an inclusive government in this country, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reports.
At the beginning of the talks, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov reportedly highly appreciated the initiative of Mr. Michel to discuss Afghan issues.
In the conversation, the Turkmen leader voiced his country's position in relation to the situation in Afghanistan. In particular, Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan stands for the settlement of the situation in Afghanistan only by peaceful, political and diplomatic means and methods.
Turkmenistan is interested in resolving issues related to the further implementation of large infrastructure projects, in particular, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline, power transmission lines and fiber-optic communication along the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan route, as well as railways connecting Afghanistan with Turkmenistan, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted.
The head of state expressed his readiness to provide continuous humanitarian support to Afghanistan to facilitate the ongoing peacebuilding processes.
Speaking about the position of Turkmenistan on the issue of refugees, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that “in the current difficult epidemiological conditions, it is necessary to make sensible decisions on the admission of refugees and, along with other aspects of humanitarian issues, first of all, one should seriously assess the risks of a large-scale spread of the deadly coronavirus infection”.
Berdimuhamedov stressed that Turkmenistan, fulfilling its international obligations, including those arising from the norms of international humanitarian law, provides its airspace to ensure the smooth evacuation from Afghanistan of citizens of a number of countries, including European states.
“Turkmenistan, as a good neighbor of Afghanistan, is ready to consolidate joint efforts for the further peaceful and stable development of the region,” Berdimuhamedov said.
In this context, the importance of the early formation of an inclusive government was emphasized.
Meanwhile, Mr. Michel tweeted after a phone call to Ashgabat:
“We agreed with President Berdimuhamedov on the need to prevent a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and the importance of our cooperation in the field of border control in Central Asia to combat terrorism and drug trafficking.”
On August 15, the Taliban entered Kabul, causing the collapse of the US-backed civilian government. Ashraf Ghani resigned from the presidency and fled the country to prevent what he called “imminent bloodshed” if militants were forced to fight for the city. The event has created tensions in the region as neighboring countries fear the spread of violence and the influx of refugees from the militant-controlled country.