FOCUS ON GOOD NEIGHBOURLINESS
The intention of the new head of the Turkmen state to strengthen cooperation with the closest regional partners in the first place seems to be a logical and understandable continuation of the foreign policy course of recent years. The state visit by the President of Turkmenistan to neighboring Uzbekistan was an important link in the chain of well-calibrated steps.
The talks between President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov in Tashkent were the main event of the visit.
Immediately upon arrival in the Uzbek capital, the Turkmen leader visited “Yangi Uzbekiston” park, where he laid flowers at Independence Monument. Then, after the official welcoming ceremony at the state residence “Kuksaroy”, the heads of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan held one-on-one talks and a meeting with participation of members of the governmental delegations of the two countries.
During the meeting, the sides discussed issues relating to the expansion of bilateral mutually beneficial partnership in trade, economic, transport, water and energy, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The sides also exchanged views on the prospects of increasing cooperation in the automotive, electrical, textile and pharmaceutical industries, as well as food industry and agriculture.
The sides discussed in detail issues relating to the interaction within the framework of international organizations and inter-parliamentary partnership. In particular, the President of Turkmenistan noted that Ashgabat works to put forward initiatives at the UN to declare 2023 the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace and develop a UN General Assembly resolution titled “Zone of Peace and Trust in Central Asia”. The Turkmen leader expressed hope for Uzbekistan’s support for these constructive proposals.
The situation in Afghanistan was the topical issue of the talks. Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed that Turkmenistan remains actively involved in ensuring peace and stability in the neighboring state, creating conditions for the economic and social recovery of this country.
Supporting the efforts of Uzbekistan to create favorable international conditions for achieving these goals, the head of Turkmenistan noted the importance of the international conference on Afghanistan scheduled for July 26 in Tashkent.
During the talks, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov invited the Uzbek leader to pay a visit to Turkmenistan. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The dates of the visit will be agreed through the diplomatic channels.
The talks finished with the signing of bilateral documents. The sides signed a framework agreement on the project on repair and restoration work and partial modernization of “Maryazot” plant; a protocol between the customs departments of the two countries on exchange of information on the movement of goods in mutual trade, technical terms of information exchange on preliminary data about goods and vehicles moving between the two countries; an agreement on development of transport and transit cooperation; a memorandum on further strengthening of cooperation in railway transport; a program of scientific and technical cooperation between the governments of the two countries for 2022–2024; an agreement on holding a joint competition of initiative research projects; an agreement on cooperation in tourism; a program of cooperation between the foreign ministries of the two states for 2023–2024.
To the applause of the ceremony participants, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev signed a joint statement. After the document signing ceremony, the heads of the two states made statements for press.
In the evening, according to the established tradition, the President of Turkmenistan planted a tree in the Alley of Honored Guests located in the state residence “Kuksaroy”.
On the second day of his state visit to Uzbekistan, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov visited the Senate of the Oliy Majlis in Tashkent, where the President of Turkmenistan held talks with the Speaker of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, Tanzila Narbayeva.
During the talks, the sides discussed development of cooperation between the legislative bodies. It was noted that thanks to the joint efforts of the parliaments of the two countries a stable inter-parliamentary dialogue has been established in recent years, mechanisms for professional communication have been put into operation, and delegations are exchanged on a regular basis. According to the sides, the Parliamentary Friendship Groups created in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan play an important role in this process, being an effective tool for mutual understanding between the peoples of the two countries.
At the end of the talks, Tanzila Narbayeva invited the President of Turkmenistan to view the Senate building and briefed the high guest on the key aspects of the activities of the upper house of the Uzbek parliament.
Following the visit to the Senate of the Oliy Majlis, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proceeded to the Tashkent International Airport named after Islam Karimov, from where he left for the city of Samarkand, famous for its historical and cultural sights. At the Samarkand International Airport, the distinguished guest was welcomed by President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
From the airport, the joint motorcade of the heads of state proceeded to the memorial complex of the first President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, where the heads of the two states laid flowers at the mausoleum of Islam Karimov, paying tribute to the memory of the outstanding state and political figure of Uzbekistan.
Then, the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan toured the sights of the historical and cultural complex of Samarkand – the Ulugbek observatory, the Gur-Emir tomb, where Tamerlane was buried, and architectural monuments in Registan Square.
After viewing the monuments of history and architecture, Serdar Berdimuhamedov thanked Shavkat Mirziyoyev and representatives of the Uzbek side for the excellent tour.
The Presidents of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan posed for photographs and proceeded to the Center for Reception of Distinguished Guests, where an official dinner was given in honor of the distinguished guest on behalf of the Uzbek side. Then, the heads of the two states proceeded to Samarkand International Airport, where President Serdar Berdimuhamedov thanked his Uzbek counterpart for hospitality and left for his homeland.