Turkmen and Uzbek presidents open bridge across Amu Darya River


ASHGABAT (TCA) — On the second day of his two-day visit to Turkmenistan on March 7, Uzbekistan President Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov opened a new motor and railway bridge across the Amu Darya River at Turkmenabat.

The bridge on the M37 motorway is about 15 kilometers from a border crossing between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported.

On the same day, in the city of Turkmenabat on the border with Uzbekistan, the two presidents unveiled a monument to Islam Karimov, the late leader of Uzbekistan.

On March 6, the first day of Mirziyoyev’s visit, the two presidents agreed upon closer cooperation on a project to export electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

They said they also agreed to try to work together more on developing trans-Caspian transport routes to South Caucasus and further on to Europe.

They also signed a strategic cooperation agreement between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, aimed at increasing cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Islamic extremism, and cross-border crime — including drug trafficking.

Mirziyoyev, prime minister for 13 years, became Uzbekistan’s acting president after Karimov’s death was announced in September 2016.

The visit to Turkmenistan was Mirziyoyev’s first visit abroad after his election as the Uzbek president in December.

As the new Uzbek leader, Mirziyoyev has talked of improving ties with the other former Soviet republics in Central Asia, and has taken some steps in that direction.

Sergey Kwan