Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan to cooperate in energy and transport

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ASHGABAT (TCA) — On the first day of his two-day official visit to Turkmenistan on March 6, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev held talks with Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. The presidents agreed on closer cooperation on energy and transportation projects, and signed a treaty on strategic cooperation between their countries.  

It is Mirziyoyev’s first official foreign visit since he was elected president in December.

Speaking to journalists after the talks, Berdymukhammedov said that cooperation in the transport sphere will be continued for establishment of strong and modern infrastructure, which would provide the unification of transport systems of Central Asia, Europe, and Middle East. He said Turkmenistan is interested in joint work to establish a corridor en route Uzbekistan–Turkmenistan–Caspian Sea–Southern Caucasus with access to the Black Sea ports of Georgia, Turkey, and Romania, Turkmen state media reported.

The Turkmen president also said that they agreed on activation of practical cooperation in implementation of the five-sided agreement on establishment of an international transport and transit corridor from Central Asia to the Middle and Near East signed in Ashgabat in 2011 with the participation of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The strategic cooperation agreement signed on March 6 is aimed at increasing cooperation in the fight against terrorism, Islamic extremism, and cross-border crime — including illegal drug trafficking, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported.

In a joint statement, the two presidents expressed the shared view that a settlement of the conflict in Afghanistan is “possible only through peaceful, political means on the basis of a broad national dialogue.”

The statement also said both Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan favor “active international support to the Afghan government and promotion of Afghanistan’s integration into regional and international economic processes.”

Sergey Kwan

TCA