October 22, 2010
On the development of friendly relations
President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov arrived in Ashgabat with an official visit by invitation of President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov on 19 October.

Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov welcomed Uzbek leader at official ceremony held at the international airport of Ashgabat. The honorary guard was formed in the honor of the high guest. The state anthems of the two states were played.

The President Islam Karimov and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov passed the honorary guard.

In one-on-one, the two leaders had a conversation, exchanged views on the wide range issues concerning Uzbek-Turkmen relations, regional and international problems of mutual interest.

“Today, trade and economic cooperation between our two countries is priority,” Islam Karimov said. “We see Turkmenistan as a reliable and long-term economic partner. A dynamic and progressive development of economic and trade ties will provide a solid foundation for the development of our relations. Cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is developing in line with the interests of both parties, regional and international developments.”

“Turkmen-Uzbek relations are especially significant with similarities in views and approaches to the issues of bilateral cooperation, regional and international problems,” Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov said. “The mutual trust, friendship and good neighborliness, respect for national traditions and values of our peoples bring us together. Turkmenistan appreciates the developing relationship with Uzbekistan.”

The Presidents discussed issues related to political, trade-economic and humanitarian cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the strengthening of regional security and stability.

The Presidents exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan. Islam Karimov stressed that the situation in Afghanistan can not be stabilized by using only military force in the country, turned into ruins in the years of war, they need restoring essential economic and social spheres, involving large-scale international assistance, strengthening of statehood, the provision of employment.

Islam Karimov and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov also exchanged views on the efficient use of water energy resources in Central Asia, further development of regional cooperation to mitigate the negative impact of the global economic crisis. Particularly similar and close views of the parties were on the management of shared water resources, which are vital and relevant to the entire region.

Bilateral economic cooperation is also wide. Both countries are rapidly developing oil and gas industry, expanding a partnership with foreign investors in the fuel and energy complex. In this sphere, our countries are also actively participating in multilateral projects along with bilateral cooperation. The pipeline “Central Asia – China” opened in 2009 serves as an example.

The sphere of transport is an important element of economic cooperation. Transportation of cargoes to Turkmenistan is carried out through the territory of Uzbekistan and through the territory of Turkmenistan to Uzbekistan. Communication of our countries operates a transit function for third-country nationals. It was noted that better use of transport and transit potential of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the possibilities of opening new lines of transportation will be beneficial not only for the two countries, but many other states.

Presidents continued the negotiations with the participation of official delegations of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The discussions focused on issues of trade-economic and humanitarian nature.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are among the leading countries in producing and transporting natural gas. The close cooperation of our countries is important in the context of ever increasing energy demand and the ongoing global economic crisis sphere. The issues of improving the products with high added value through joint involvement in investment, that is a major international consortia and in Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan’s gas industry. This will provide an opportunity to raise the income derived from oil and gas industry. This serves to strengthen the cooperation between our countries, create jobs and build new infrastructures.

As noted, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have great potential in terms of international transit of goods. Thanks to close cooperation in this regard the volume of export and import of goods of the two states transported through the territories of our countries, reached almost 2.5 million tons per year.

Tourism as one of the most high-income areas is one of the priority areas of cooperation. Relationship in this area along with the development of the bilateral exchange of tourists also serves to attract tourists from other states.

Uzbekistan exports services, food, mechanical equipment, vehicles, glass, ferrous metals and articles thereof, optical, chemical products to Turkmenistan. From Turkmenistan Uzbekistan imports plastic and plastic products, services, products of inorganic chemistry. In 2009, the volume of trade amounted to 5.7 million USD. However, as noted in the course of negotiations, this figure does not fully reflect the real opportunities.

The number of joint ventures also can not correspond to the potential parties. It is possible to create joint ventures along with the oil and gas, agriculture, transport, tourism and other areas. These include information technology, construction materials, agro-processing, textile and other industries.

Development of measures trigger untapped opportunities, discovery and development of new areas of cooperation are assigned to the intergovernmental joint commission on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation. In recent years, this committee initiated by the Presidents meets regularly. National exhibitions of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are organized in Tashkent and Ashgabat.

Issues on humanitarian cooperation also were discussed within the negotiations. Undoubtedly, the spiritual closeness, traditional friendly ties between our peoples are important in the development of this direction.

Workers of culture and arts of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan regularly participate in organized festivals, exhibitions and forums in both countries. In particular, the Turkmen artists regularly participate in international music festival “Sharq taronalari” held in Samarkand. In 2009, the representatives of Turkmenistan L.Begnazarova won the Grand Prix of the festival.

The 200-year anniversary of the prominent Turkmen poet Mollanepes is widely celebrated in Uzbekistan in March of this year.

Uzbek-Turkmen Friendship Festival passing these days in the Turkmen city of Dashoguz is another example of cooperation in the cultural sphere.

Following the talks, President Islam Karimov and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov signed the joint Uzbek-Turkmen statement. The two governments had signed a program of cooperation in cultural and humanitarian sphere for 2011-2013.

At the meeting with representatives of the media, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov noted that the talks were held openly, constructively and in a spirit of mutual trust and respect, and stressed that the agreements serve for further development of Uzbek-Turkmen relations and the interests of both peoples.

Official visit of President Islam Karimov to Turkmenistan continues.



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