May 6, 2011
Bolstering friendly and partnership relations
At the invitation of President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov arrived in Uzbekistan May 5 on official visit.

Uzbek and Turkmen peoples are bound with a common history, language, culture, traditions and customs. The scientific, literary and spiritual heritage of our ancestors is considered common wealth of the two peoples. The Uzbeks and the Turkmen are dear guests in one anotherís wedding parties.

The relations between the two republics acquired a new impetus, qualitatively higher level during the years of their independent development. The Uzbek-Turkmen cooperation is currently developing in the spirit of Interstate Agreement on Consolidation of Friendship and Comprehensive Partnership signed in 2007. The regular summits are but a testimony to this reality.

This timeís Tashkent meeting of the heads of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan has come to be a logical extension of the highest-level practical and enthusiastic dialogue. During a tête-à-tête conversation, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov exchanged views on a wide-scale of issues related to the bilateral interaction, on regional and international topics of mutual interest.

The sides noted that the current visit by Turkmenistanís leader has confirmed the community of efforts and aspirations of the two nations in affording a new pace to the bilateral and multilateral cooperation built on principles of mutual confidence, respect, shared interest and good neighborliness.

It has been pointed out that the dynamic advancement of relations between the two countries in diverse spheres can be seen also in the effective implementation of documents signed.

The two heads of state said that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have been cooperating effectively in the framework of the United Nations and other international institutions, and that the two countriesí views are similar in addressing regional and international issues. During the talks, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also dwelled on matters concerning interaction in countering such threats as terrorism, extremism, organized crime, drugs trafficking.

Discussing the situation in Afghanistan, the two leaders agreed that it is impossible to establish peace with the use of military force alone. The Presidents noted the importance of initiatives aimed at creating new effective mechanisms of stepping up the negotiations process in addressing the conflict with the participation of nations neighboring Afghanistan.

Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov exchanged views on issues relating to the rational use of water and energy resources in Central Asia, to boosting regional cooperation. It is essential, the parties agreed, that problems concerning water and energy sphere be addressed building on universally accepted norms and principles of international law, with an eye to the interests of every country in the region and with international institutions involved in the process. The two leaders pointed to the necessity of adhering to provisions secured in UN conventions on protection and use of trans-boundary watercourses and international lakes, and the one on the right to use non-navigational international watercourses.

Presidents Karimov and Berdimuhamedov continued negotiations with the participation of delegation members. That officials from ministries and agencies, major companies and organizations from the two sides attended the extended talks were suggestive of the two partiesí solid willingness and enthusiasm to further expand and consolidate the cooperation in all directions. The major focus has been placed on trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian interaction.

The scale of economic cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan has been enhancing. Hydrocarbon industry and interaction with foreign investors in fuel energy complex have been dynamically advancing both in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Along with bilateral partnership, the two nations have been energetic also in multilateral projects in this sphere. A classic example of this is the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China pipeline commissioned in 2009.

The sides underscored the importance of stepping up the cooperation in promoting this arterial direction as well as alternative routes that would enable to export energy resources from the region to Europe and other markets of the world. Uzbek and Turkmen officials agreed to keep with cooperation in jointly addressing the issues of diversifying the supply routes of Uzbekistanís and Turkmenistanís abundant natural resources to global markets, in setting up a global system of ensuring energy security in the transportation of these resources.

Transport and communications constitute another vital dimension of economic cooperation. Cargo is transported to Turkmenistan through Uzbekistan, and to Uzbekistan through Turkmenistan. The territories of the two countries and their advanced communications systems serve also as transit routes for third parties. These factors suggest that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan wield a considerable potential in this sphere. Expansion of interaction on this front is considered critical in promoting international trade and wide-scale investment cooperation between the two nations as much as between regions and continents. In their discussion, the two heads of state placed a particular emphasis on the topic of establishing Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman-Qatar transport corridor raised during President Islam Karimovís official visit to Turkmenistan last October. The two countries are reliable partners in materializing this project promising to allow for colossal opportunities in reaching out to global markets. Ashgabat Agreement was signed recently to create this corridor. Along with helping bolster mutually advantageous trade and economic interaction among participating countries, the implementation of this project will serve to lift up the volumes of international transit cargo, to open up new communications networks for world markets.

Each country has attached a special prominence to augmenting the bilateral trade cooperation. It has been suggested by the growing mutual trade. The bilateral turnover has increased fourfold in the last four years, reaching 200m US dollars in 2010.

Uzbek-Turkmen intergovernmental commission on trade and economic, scientific and technological, cultural cooperation convenes on a regular basis. Under consistent discussion has been the elaboration of measures aimed at invigorating untouched opportunities, exploring and utilizing new dimensions of interaction. In addition, organization of national expositions of Turkmenistan in Tashkent and of Uzbekistan in Ashgabat has turned into a good tradition.

It is imperative, the two sides stressed, that the mutual trade assortment be expanded by goods and services originating in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. That would serve to boost mutually beneficial economic ties among the companies and enterprises of the two nations.

Cultural and humanitarian issues have also been deliberated in the course of negotiations. The critical role of spiritual proximity, traditional friendship bonds between the two peoples in developing the interaction on this front is worth noting in particular.

Culture and arts representatives of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have regularly attended festivals, exhibitions and forums in the two countries. For instance, Turkmen artists are constant and active participants of Sharq Taronalari (Melodies of the East) international music festival organized every year in Samarqand.

Worth noting that as part of meeting at the highest level, friendship festivals of the two countriesí artists have become a good custom. The ancient and eternally young Bukhoro is serving these days as a venue for regular Uzbek-Turkmen festival of friendship.

A 2011-2013 cultural-humanitarian cooperation program comprises a few cultural events and programs.

It has been underscored that the two nations should further advance interaction in culture, arts, tourism and sports.

Following the negotiations, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov penned Uzbek-Turkmen Joint Statement.

The governments of the Republic of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan signed agreement on setting up trade representations on a reciprocal basis. This will facilitate the establishment of a new scheme in expanding the bilateral cooperation in this sphere, and grant an opportunity for economic entities from the two countries to interact with each other directly on online regime. That is, the scheme is to afford new convenience for customers and consumers in the two countries to conduct business dialogue, to reach mutual deals.

The intergovernmental agreement on scientific and technological cooperation stipulates to build up relations in such spheres as energy, agriculture and water resources, healthcare and environmental protection.

In addition, a memorandum of understanding has been inked between Alisher Navoi Uzbek National Library and the National Library of Turkmen National Cultural Center. This document envisions intensifying the ties in international book exchange, study and implementation of contemporary library technologies, mutual exchange of experience, joint revision of scientific achievements.

During a meeting with representatives of mass media, Presidents Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted that the talks passed in the spirit of openness, mutual confidence and respect, in a working mood, and that the reached agreements would serve to further elevate the Uzbek-Turkmen relations, to raise the wellbeing of the two peoples.

According to President Karimov, the constructive and practical negotiations have demonstrated the similarity and proximity of views concerning a broad range of issues relating to Uzbek-Turkmen cooperation as well as regional and international affairs.

Uzbekistan is Turkmenistanís reliable friend, important and enthusiastic partner, President Berdimuhamedov said. Turkmenistan attaches a high value to its relations with Uzbekistan built on friendship, fraternity, spiritual closeness, according to the Turkmen leader. These talks have time and again confirmed the community of aspirations of the two sides towards fostering the mutual cooperation.

In the afternoon, Presidents Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov traveled to Independence Square. The high-ranking guest laid wrath to the Monument of Independence and Humanism that is the symbol of the Uzbek peopleís freedom, bright future and heartfelt aspirations. President Berdimuhamedov highly evaluated the creative and beautifying efforts at Uzbekistanís central square.

Presidents of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan visited also the capitalís ĎUzbekistoní palace of international forums erected at the initiative of President Islam Karimov in 2009. The venue meets the international standards for holding major international conferences, cultural and enlightenment events, concerts. The head of Turkmenistan expressed his high consideration to the architectural solution and design that has taken in national architectural traditions and modern dimensions. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov implied in particular that the magnificent palace is a testimony to Uzbekistanís standing as a country with high potential in all domains.

The Turkmen Presidentís official visit to Uzbekistan continues.



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