Turkmenistan president takes part in First Caspian Economic Forum

ASHGABAT (TCA) — Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov on August 12 spoke at the First Caspian Economic Forum in Turkmenistan — his first public appearance since July 5 amid rumors that he had died or had slipped into a coma during hospital treatment.

Shown in a live video broadcast from the conference at the Avaza tourist zone near the city of Turkmenbashi on the Caspian coast, Berdymukhammedov stood at a podium for more than 20 minutes to deliver his speech, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service reported.

Berdymukhammedov appeared robust and healthy — speaking clearly and coherently while he addressed foreign dignitaries in the audience.

Other short video clips from the sidelines of the August 12 conference showed Berdymukhammedov meeting separately with the prime ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan, and with Iran’s first vice president, Eshaq Jahangiri.

The International Conference “The Caspian Sea: In the interest of developing international economic cooperation” was the main event of the First Caspian Economic Forum, and included important issues related to enhancing the fruitful interaction of the Caspian littoral states and all interested foreign partners, the State News Agency of Turkmenistan reported.

President Berdymukhammedov said that the conference brought together the heads of governments of the Caspian littoral states and other countries, the envoys from dozens of countries representing various spheres — politicians, diplomats, businessmen, environmentalists, scientists, and journalists.

“We are all like-minded people, united by the understanding of the importance of a multifaceted and systemic dialogue on the development of the Caspian region, determining the prospects for international cooperation in the Caspian Sea,” he said.

The Turkmen president expressed gratitude to all the Caspian countries for supporting Turkmenistan’s initiative to hold the First Caspian Economic Forum. The Caspian Sea is an important geopolitical and geo-economic area. Today, the objective interests of littoral states and other countries are concentrated there due to the fact that the Caspian region is a large natural source of hydrocarbon resources, a transport and transit hub in Eurasia, and a promising territory for expanding international trade.


Times of Central Asia