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05 October 2012 / 02:52

03.10.2012 18:03

As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov paid an official visit to Turkmenistan on October 1-2, at the invitation of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan have always been tied with historical and close bonds of friendship, the solidarity of cultural and spiritual values, the proximity of languages, traditions and customs.

During the thoroughgoing talks between Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov held in a candid and confidential atmosphere, the sides have confirmed the community of interests and the availability of solid political will to comprehensively enhance the multilayered bilateral interaction. The parties noted also the immediacy and concurrence of positions and approaches to all the discussed current international and region issues.

This acquires a particular significance in light of the swiftly changing situation in Central Asia and beyond the region, the ongoing global financial and economic crisis and its potential consequences.

For this very reason, the heads of our two states have placed a special emphasis on the adoption of joint measures to counter terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and organized crime, as well as on issues pertinent to ensuring security and stability.

Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, as closest neighbors of Afghanistan, have been making actual and practical input into the establishment of peace in that country by implementing tangible projects designed to construct railways, create vital infrastructure, supply electricity and other essential goods.

A particular attention has been paid during the negotiations in Ashgabat to the use of water resources of the region. The two sides stressed common position on this subject matter, namely, that in addressing the water and energy issues, it is imperative that the construction of hydropower complexes upstream the trans-boundary rivers be carried out in line with the universal norms of international law fixed in United Nations conventions. These documents require adherence to the principles of avoiding inflicting harm to the environment and the interests of adjacent nations in using the resources of trans-boundary rivers. Given these constrictions, it is essential to conduct an eminent international expertise of the hydropower facility construction projects.

The talks in an extended format included the discussion of cooperation in trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian realms. As far as the dynamics of bilateral trade relations is concerned, the volume of mutual turnover in 2011 grew by 69 percent to approach 500 million US dollars.

The parties to negotiations expressed conviction that consistent state support will help build up the volumes of mutual trade in the interests of our two countries.

Another promising dimension of bilateral cooperation is transport and communications. Both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan command a well integrated system of automobile and rail roads, which can prove crucial in securing communications between Central Asia and the Caucasus region and further to the countries of Europe and the Persian Gulf.

The interaction in cultural and humanitarian area has been critical in consolidating the friendly ties between the peoples of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The two countries have built a good tradition of organizing friendship festivals with the involvement of wider public and culture figures. These kinds of events have been making a remarkable contribution to maintaining a greater spiritual and cultural closeness of our two peoples.

Following the negotiations in Ashgabat, the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan adopted a joint declaration. Also, the two sides inked an economic cooperation agreement for 2013-2017, a deal for mutual supply of goods, a cooperation program between foreign ministries of the two countries for 2013-2014 as well as other documents.

The joint declaration calls for steadfast advancement of bilateral relations. The text also fixes a satisfaction by the quest of the two fraternal nations to continue with the development and perfection of mechanisms of interstate and intergovernmental cooperation to secure effective execution of agreements reached earlier.

The document reflects the prospects of bolstering the cooperation between the two sides in trade and economic, transport and communications, cultural and humanitarian, law enforcement and other spheres. The two countries underline a cohesive position on water and energy issues in Central Asia along with those related to addressing the situation in Afghanistan.

In accordance with the economic cooperation agreement for 2013-2017, both countries are expected to boost interaction in trade and economic area, including by the creation of an environment conducive to shoring up the bilateral trade turnover, to increasing the volume and range of goods and services supplied, and by the establishment of direct business contacts between representatives of private sector in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The two states are also anticipated to keep with efforts to diversify transport corridors and arterial highways in order to access external markets, to generate conditions encouraging cargo transits by third parties.

Dedicated to stepping up the bilateral trade and economic cooperation, the deal for mutual supply of goods is designed to promote and stimulate interaction between the government agencies as well as production enterprises of the two countries. Put it another way, our two nations are to exchange goods, including – from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan – cars and trucks, buses, agricultural equipment, spare parts, mineral fertilizers, chemicals for plant protection, construction materials, electrical (household and public) appliances, agricultural produce. Turkmenistan is to supply oil, gas condensate, polypropylene, polystyrene, bischofite, carpets, and goods of textile, agricultural and reprocessing industries.

During a meeting with mass media, Presidents Karimov and Berdymuhamedov noted that they regard the current visit as a logical extension of the fruitful dialogue at the highest level between the two countries, an interaction built on mutual confidence. The heads of state said they appreciated the opportunity to discuss current issues of bilateral relations and exchange views on pressing issues in regional and international affairs. The two leaders underscored that the talks were held in an atmosphere of openness and mutual understanding, and that the signed documents will facilitate the further reinforcement of traditionally friendly bonds between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan on the basis of equality and shared benefit, and for the good of our two peoples.

The President of Uzbekistan expressed gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for a warm reception and invited Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov to pay an official visit to our country at a convenient time.