Belarus president heads for Turkmenistan

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko will pay an official visit to Turkmenistan on 29-31 March, BelTA news agency reported citing the press service of the Belarusian president.

On 30 March, Lukashenko will hold talks with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. The sides plan to discuss a wide range of issues of mutual interest. Special attention will be paid to the development of trade and economic cooperation. After the talks the sides are expected to sign a number of bilateral documents.

The two leaders will also take part in the opening ceremony of the Belarusian Embassy in Turkmenistan.

On 31 March, Lukashenko and Berdymukhammedov will visit the Garlyk mining and processing factory which has been recently built by the Belarusian side. The heads of state will inaugurate the plant and tour its production facilities.

The processing plant for production of potassium fertilizers at the Garlyk potassium salt deposit in the Lebap province of Turkmenistan has no analogy in Central Asia. It will produce 1.4 million tons of potash fertilizer per year, Turkmen media earlier reported.

In 2010, Belarus and Turkmenistan signed a contract to design and build a mining and processing plant with annual production capacity of 1.4 million tons of potassium chloride.  

The large-scale project has involved thousands of specialists and workers both from Belarus and Turkmenistan. In addition, universities and vocational schools in Belarus have trained Turkmen students that will work at the future plant.

The new enterprise will allow not only to meet the needs of the Turkmen agricultural sector for ecologically clean potassium fertilizers but also to export more than a million tons of fertilizer per year.

The project will make a considerable contribution to the economic development of Turkmenistan and will earn much-needed foreign currency for the country.

Sergey Kwan

TCA