PROPOSALS AND INITIATIVES OF THE PRESIDENT OF TURKMENISTAN AT «THE CENTRAL ASIA-RUSSIA» SUMMIT
In the frames of «The Central Asia-Russia» Summit held in Astana on October 14, 2022, the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov delivered a speech in which a number of proposals and initiatives were put forward to bring the partnership between the states of Central Asia and the Russian Federation in various key areas of cooperation to a higher level.
The head of Turkmenistan noted that today's meeting marks the continuation of close multifaceted cooperation between the countries of Central Asia and Russia on the main points of the world and regional agenda. Among them, ensuring peace, stability, and security as key factors in the successful development of our states, expanding and deepening integration of economic and trade ties, and solving social and humanitarian problems are of paramount importance.
We have to state with regret that recent trends in global geopolitics are far from being positive. The foundations of international law are being eroded, which affects the effectiveness of the work of the UN and other supporting institutions. The meaning and content of interstate relations are changing. The geography of conflicts, threats of terrorism, extremism, and radicalism is expanding.
It was emphasized that under these conditions, close, effective interaction between the states of Central Asia and Russia is of decisive importance. Today, coherent political and diplomatic work is required, well-coordinated cooperation between special services, the use of information resources, and public institutions to create reliable and long-term protective mechanisms that can provide our countries and citizens with peace, tranquility, and confidence in the strength of state foundations.
At the same time, it is necessary to intensify joint work within international organizations in this area, to achieve solidarity and unity with respect for and effective implementation of the universally recognized norms of international law.
In the regional aspect, the President of Turkmenistan proposed to apply maximum preventive measures, and tools to prevent potential conflicts, using the available levers and experience for this.
In this context, it was proposed to focus on specific areas:
The first is countering attempts to destabilize the situation in our states;
The second is to provide guarantees of protection against the threats of terrorism, extremism, cyber and biological hazards;
The third is the fight against the artificial introduction of false meanings and moral guidelines into the public consciousness;
Fourth, prevention of potential negative consequences of the general aggravation of the situation in the world.
In order to intensify joint activities in the above areas, the President of Turkmenistan stated the expediency of optimizing the mode of six-party consultations between the ministries of foreign affairs. Stressing that the same applies to the activities of special services and other structures, Head of State Serdar Berdimuhamedov proposed instructing ministries and heads of state agencies to develop algorithms and topics for consultations based on the above tasks.
As noted, a separate topic on the international agenda is the situation in Afghanistan. In this regard, the conviction was expressed that the countries of Central Asia and Russia are equally interested in stability in Afghanistan. A peaceful, stable, developing Afghanistan is one of the guarantees for the security of our borders and our citizens.
Along with this, it was emphasized that in this context, Turkmenistan welcomes and supports international mechanisms for the political settlement of the situation in Afghanistan, the efforts of the Central Asian countries, Russia, Iran, China, and UN missions in Afghanistan.
The most important issue is Afghanistan's integration into international and regional economic relations. In recent years, Turkmenistan has initiated a number of major infrastructure projects with Afghan participation. Among them: the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan high-voltage power line, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan fiber-optic communication line, railways from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan.
Through the implementation of such projects, Afghanistan receives a strategic perspective of economic and social development, and will be able to realize its geographical advantages as a link on the continent, the President of Turkmenistan concluded.
In the framework of the six-party cooperation, the economy is the most important priority. We see great prospects here, the head of Turkmenistan emphasized. These are, first of all, such areas as energy, industrial cooperation, textile production, agro-industrial complex, logistics, new technologies, and regional trade.
Among the main proposals in these areas were named: the need to stimulate the business community of our countries to a closer partnership; the possibility of initiating the creation of a permanent business format Central Asia + Russia, during which various aspects of trade and economic cooperation would be considered.
Of particular importance is the creation of modern transport, transit, and communication systems in the territories of our countries through the construction of extensive transport and transit infrastructure covering the expanses of continental Eurasia with access to the World Ocean, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said.
Turkmenistan believes that it is necessary to focus on the maximum realization of the potential that opens up for the states of Central Asia and Russia in the context of optimizing transport flows in the Eurasian space.
In this context, the activation of the work of the North-South transport corridor should be considered: from Russia through Central Asia to sea terminals in the Indian Ocean, the head of state continued, confirming that Turkmenistan, as a country through which the shortest route to the Persian Gulf is provided, to Iranian ports and from there to India, is ready to start implementing this project.
Speaking about humanitarian cooperation, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted that Turkmenistan fully supports the development and deepening of cultural, humanitarian, scientific, educational, sports, and tourism ties between our countries. In this regard, it was proposed to think about organizing next year the Festival of Culture and Arts of the Peoples of Central Asia and Russia.
The head of Turkmenistan also said that at today's meeting of the Council of the CIS Heads of State, information was heard on the work of the CIS Inter-Parliamentary Assembly, in which the main points related to the activities of this important body were noted. In addition to this and in the context of the Summit of the Heads of State of Central Asia and Russia, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed that in May this year in Ashgabat, on the initiative of the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Myalikgulyevich Berdimuhamedov, the First Inter-Parliamentary Forum "Central Asia - Russia" and Dialogue of women of our countries was held at the highest level. The inter-parliamentary forum became the basis for organizing the current meeting, the head of state continued, noting that, however, unfortunately, these events were not announced today. At the same time, special emphasis was placed on the fact that holding such forums is relevant, first of all, from the point of view of developing joint partnership and interaction.
In conclusion, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov confirmed Turkmenistan's firm commitment to the development of fraternal, good-neighborly, equal relations between our countries, readiness for further creative interaction, and thanked each of the attending heads of state for their great personal contribution to this process.