The Head of Turkmenistan Attends the 16th ECO Summit
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov made a working visit to the Republic of Uzbekistan to participate in the 16th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation.
One of the key vectors of Turkmenistan’s foreign-policy strategy, based on the principles of peace, positive neutrality and constructive cooperation, is broad and multi-format interaction with authoritative international and regional structures, including the ECO. Since the foundation of the Organisation, its platform has served as an effective tool for establishing and developing fruitful partnerships among participating countries.
Turkmenistan, being a member of the ECO since 1992, has been making a worthy contribution to increasing cooperation at the multilateral level and has actively been strengthening friendly and good-neighbourly relations with member states of the Organisation. Over the years of joint activities within the framework of this structure, solid experience has been accumulated, creating a solid foundation for further deepening effective ties for the long term.
During the presidency of the Economic Cooperation Organisation in 2021, our country has developed a special Conception and demonstrated a comprehensively thought-out and results-oriented approach to fulfilling this responsible mission. In particular, for this period, Turkmenistan identified the following key tasks: giving the activities of the ECO meaningfulness and dynamics in the context of changing realities in the economy, trade, investment cooperation, establishing more systematic and substantive interaction in the transport and energy segments and its electronic and digital support and exchanging technologies and new experience in the field of ecology. All this has become topical against the background of the global pandemic, which has significantly affected the course of regional, continental and world economic relations.
It should also be noted that the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation on the initiative of the National Leader of the Turkmen people Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was convened in Ashgabat on November 28, 2021, ECO Day, and became an important event in the history of this structure. Summit meetings serve as a good opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues and to make decisions on current and priority topics of regional partnership within the ECO space. In this context, it is necessary to remind that following the results of the 15th Summit, the Ashgabat Consensus for Action was adopted, in which the spheres of trade, transport, communications, energy, social development, climate change and others are identified as the main areas of interaction among the participating countries.
...At the International Airport of the capital, before leaving for Tashkent, the Head of Turkmenistan talked with a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan.
Taking this opportunity, the Head of Turkmenistan wished the Republic of Uzbekistan a successful holding of the Economic Cooperation Organisation Summit.
The diplomat noted the importance of the forthcoming visit of the Head of Turkmenistan to participate in the ECO Summit and his meeting with President Shavkat Mirziyoyev. Expressing confidence that those events would be constructive, and their results would become the basis for further strengthening productive ties both between the two fraternal countries and the member states of the Organisation, the representative of the Embassy of the neighbouring country wished President Serdar Berdimuhamedov a successful visit to Uzbekistan.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov expressed his firm conviction that the forthcoming visit would give a new impetus to the further development of the partnership between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan and to the deepening of the fruitful dialogue between both countries within the framework of the Economic Cooperation Organisation.
Upon arrival at Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport, where the State Flags of the ECO member countries were raised on flagpoles and a guard of honour was lined up, the Head of Turkmenistan was met by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov, other officials of the fraternal country and members of the delegation of Turkmenistan.
Then the President of Turkmenistan proceeded to the Congress Centre of the Tashkent City International Business Centre, where a meeting with the Uzbek leader took place.
After warmly and cordially greeting each other, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev took pictures against the background of the State Flags of the two countries.
Then negotiations took place with the participation of members of the government delegations.
Upon once again greeting the distinguished Turkmen guest and members of the delegation, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev thanked the Head of Turkmenistan for accepting the invitation to visit Uzbekistan and to take part in the next ECO Summit.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov conveyed greetings and best wishes from the National Leader of the Turkmen people to the Head of Uzbekistan.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev gratefully accepted the good wishes of the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and, in turn, addressed reciprocal greetings and best wishes to the Hero-Arkadag. The head of the friendly country noted the enormous contribution of the National Leader of the Turkmen people to strengthening the interstate contacts.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also noted that the works of the brilliant Turkmen poet Magtymguly Pyragy, whose 300th birth anniversary would be celebrated in 2024, permeated with humanistic ideals and included in the treasury of human culture, were well known and loved in Uzbekistan.
In turn, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, emphasising that he was glad to meet with the Uzbek leader in the beautiful city of Tashkent, expressed sincere gratitude for the invitation to take part in the Economic Cooperation Organisation Summit and for the warm welcome shown during the visit.
Taking this opportunity, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov congratulated the Republic of Uzbekistan and President Shavkat Mirziyoyev on the chairmanship of the fraternal country in the 16th ECO Summit and wished successful holding of the forthcoming summit meeting.
A deep conviction was expressed that the results of that meeting would give an impetus to the development of cooperation among the member states of the Organisation and were intended to become a new stage in expanding interaction between our countries in a multilateral format.
Continuing the negotiations, which took place in a confidential atmosphere, Heads of State Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Shavkat Mirziyoyev exchanged views on key aspects of the interstate dialogue, taking into account emerging opportunities and joint priority plans for the future.
The topics of discussion also included current issues on the regional and global agenda that are of mutual interest. Particular attention was paid to deepening cooperation within authoritative structures, including the ECO.
At the end of the meeting, the President of Turkmenistan and the President of Uzbekistan expressed confidence that the bilateral relations, based on strong ties of friendship and good neighbourliness and principles of equality, respect and mutual support, would continue to develop successfully on a mutually beneficial basis.
Then President Serdar Berdimuhamedov took part in the 16th Summit of the Council of Heads of Countries of the Economic Cooperation Organisation (ECO).
The Summit, held under the motto “Together for Economic Stability and Development”, was attended by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, the President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, the President of the Republic of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Republic of Kazakhstan was represented at the forum by Prime Minister Alihan Smaiylov, and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan by Acting Prime Minister Anwaar ul-Haq Kakar. The ECO Secretary General Khusraw Noziri also took part in the Summit.
The agenda of the Summit included issues of the further development of trade, economic, investment, transport, communications and humanitarian cooperation within the framework of the ECO and the possibility of improving the mechanism of activities of this multilateral structure.
Addressing those gathered with a welcoming speech, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that Summit Meeting was a vivid confirmation of the determination of the ECO member countries to expand comprehensive partnerships on the path of common development.
As it was noted, exactly two years ago, the 15th Summit of the Organisation had been successfully held in Ashgabat. Important decisions, made at the meeting in Turkmenistan, brought new breath into the activities of the structure.
Particular emphasis was placed on the ongoing comprehensive work to reform and improve the efficiency of the ECO and on the growth of its authority on the international arena.
The Uzbek leader especially stressed that historic Summit and its results would serve to further establish the Organisation as an effective and efficient structure and to bring the multifaceted partnership to new levels.
Then President Shavkat Mirziyoyev gave the floor to the Chairman of the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation – the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
Welcoming those present, the Head of Turkmenistan first of all thanked the Uzbek leader for organising the 16th ECO Summit at a high level and for the warm hospitality and respect shown.
“Today’s Summit Meeting is taking place at a time when we are directly faced with serious geopolitical challenges that have a direct impact on the development and trends of the global economy,” President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said, noting that, at the same time, those challenges, despite their complex nature, opened new perspectives.
As it was emphasised, issues such as the constructive and effective use of those opportunities and the use of all the favourable advantages of the Economic Cooperation Organisation in the context of modern geo-economic transformations should become the key task of the ECO in the near future. In this regard, the Head of Turkmenistan stated the presence of all necessary conditions.
From this point of view, the importance of the 15th ECO Summit held in Ashgabat on November 28, 2021, which had been rich in significant initiatives and events and had given a new impetus to joint activities, was noted. The Ashgabat Consensus for Action adopted there, being the main document, includes all key areas of cooperation, in particular, trade, transport, communications, energy, industry and economic development, as well as issues such as social security, environment, climate change and others.
Taking this opportunity, the Head of Turkmenistan expressed deep gratitude to the leaders of all ECO states for their active participation in the work of the Ashgabat Summit and their valuable contribution to its successful conduct and also thanked the Secretariat of the Organisation for taking effective measures to fulfil the goals and objectives arising from the Ashgabat Consensus for Action.
Based on the documents, decisions and agreements adopted at the 15th Summit, we needed to quickly determine the main areas of interaction, to analyse important issues and to begin their practical implementation, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov continued, stressing that, in accordance with the position of Turkmenistan, he considered it appropriate to focus on some key aspects of particular importance.
First of all, the emphasis was placed on the need to develop mutually beneficial cooperation in the trade, economic and investment spheres, which today are among the main directions for the development of relations within the ECO.
In this context, the Head of Turkmenistan reminded that in 2021, during its chairmanship of the Economic Cooperation Organisation, Turkmenistan had proposed to begin creating economic corridors in the ECO region, considered as a system of sustainable main routes for the promotion of goods, services and financial resources. As it was emphasised, for that it was necessary to establish and develop on an integrated basis partnerships among leading industrial firms, investment companies and banks of our countries. This work must be carried out through the widespread introduction of advanced technologies, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said, initiating the development of the ECO Framework Agreement on Digital Technologies and Electronic Commerce.
In order to increase trade turnover among the countries of the Organisation, it was noted that cross-border and regional trade opportunities should be actively used. In this context, there is valuable experience, centuries-old traditions and customs of our peoples that require revival, use and enrichment, taking into account the realities of our time. To do this, it was necessary to create a favourable cross-border environment and to stimulate regional cooperation, which represented a system of contractual advantages and priorities, the Head of Turkmenistan said.
“We attach great importance to intensifying business relations through small and medium-sized businesses, the production of certain types of industrial goods and agricultural products and the establishment of cooperation in the service sector and other areas,” President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said.
In this context, it was proposed to consider the possibility of creating an Information Portal that would contain specific information, ideas, business projects and other necessary information for greater awareness of the potential and intentions of countries in terms of expanding multilateral cooperation.
It is obvious that the joint economic partnership will develop successfully and become truly effective in the presence of modern transport and communication networks covering absolutely the entire ECO space. The importance of Eurasian transport corridors as a driving force for the prosperity of the entire continent is vividly confirmed and increased. The Organisation has a key place in this work, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasised, saying that the construction of roads, bridges, hubs, warehouses, terminals and other structures that were important infrastructure facilities was perceived as one of the main areas of cooperation. From a practical point of view, it was proposed to consider the issue of creating Joint Transport and Logistics Centres with the participation of relevant government bodies and private companies.
In general, today the coordinated implementation and mutual complementarity of the work of transport institutions of the ECO member countries is largely required. In this regard, the Head of Turkmenistan noted the importance of the Secretariat’s coordination activities within the framework of the implementation of the Programme of the development of ECO transport and communication systems.
Turkmenistan paid special attention to the creation of interregional transport and transit corridors with the ECO countries, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov continued, identifying among the priority areas for discussion the establishment of multimodal cargo transportation from China through Central Asia with access to the ports of the Caspian Sea, the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea.
At the same time, the importance for the Organisation of implementing targeted and coordinated transport diplomacy on the international arena, active work with the UN Economic Commission for Europe, the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and international and regional transport organisations was highlighted.
Energy was named another important vector of joint activities.
The fact that world energy markets are in a globally unstable state dictates that one of the main tasks of the ECO is the development of an appropriate effective model of cooperation. That was primarily necessary to meet the growing energy needs of our countries in order to increase the capacity of new industrial complexes and agriculture, to build infrastructure facilities and to launch joint production projects, the Head of Turkmenistan noted. Turkmenistan was known to have put forward a number of large energy projects, in which some ECO countries also participated, President Serdar
Berdimuhamedov emphasised, inviting partner countries to expand cooperation in the energy sector in order to create an energy supply system including the ECO space. For its part, Turkmenistan is ready to increase the volume of supplies of natural gas and electricity to the ECO states through the currently available capacities and those that would be built in the future.
During the Meeting, a number of issues important for the member countries of the Organisation were discussed, the solution of which would help identify promising areas of interaction and develop specific plans and mechanisms for their implementation.
In that difficult period of global development, Turkmenistan was firmly convinced that the leaders of our countries would demonstrate wisdom and foresight in the name of common interests, strengthening mutual understanding, friendship and fruitful cooperation inherent in our fraternal peoples, the Head of Turkmenistan said.
In conclusion, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed the ECO Secretariat was entrusted with a high responsible mission and had an important role in the practical implementation of priority areas of joint cooperation. After wishing the Secretary General of the Organisation and all employees of the Secretariat every success in that field, the President of Turkmenistan thanked them for their contribution to the successful holding of the Summit.
Then, in accordance with the current rules of the ECO, the President of Turkmenistan proposed to elect the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev as chairman of the 16th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organisation.
During the subsequent presentations, proposals were made to develop effective tools for improving regional trade, in particular, such as the ECO Trade Agreement (ECOTA) and a trade facilitation strategy in order to increase the volume of trade among the member countries of the Organisation.
At the same time, measures, aimed at developing transport infrastructure in the region, were considered.
During the event, ECO award winners were then announced.
At this point, the Economic Cooperation Organisation Summit completed its work.
At the end of the programme of his working visit to the Republic of Uzbekistan, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proceeded to Islam Karimov Tashkent International Airport.
There the Head of Turkmenistan was seen off by the Prime Minister of Uzbekistan Abdulla Aripov and other officials of the fraternal country.
Upon arrival at Ashgabat International Airport, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov was met by officials and a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Uzbekistan in our country.
During the conversation, the diplomat cordially congratulated the Head of Turkmenistan on his successful working visit.
Head of State Serdar Berdimuhamedov emphasised the ECO Summit in Tashkent and the decisions adopted as a result of it were intended to ensure the further expansion of multifaceted strategic cooperation among the member countries of the Organisation.
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The day before, members of the government delegation of Turkmenistan, on behalf of the President of the country, held bilateral meetings at ministries and sectoral departments of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The subject of the interested exchange of views was the possibility of expanding fruitful, time-in-demand partnerships, taking into account the opening new horizons. The main topics of discussion were issues of the interstate interaction between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, between financial and economic structures, in the energy sector, various industries and construction production and in the field of the media.