In Ashgabat, under the chairmanship of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, a meeting of the Council of CIS Heads of State was held. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko, President of Kazakhstan Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev, President of Kyrgyzstan Sooronbai Jeenbekov, President of Moldova Igor Dodon, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon, President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Prime Minister arrived in Turkmenistan to attend the meeting. Minister of Armenia Nikol Pashinyan.
After the approval of the regulations and the adoption of the agenda, the heads of state held a narrow-ended meeting, during which they discussed current issues in the development of interaction in the Commonwealth and the situation in the world. The leaders of the CIS countries paid special attention to the problems of ensuring security and peace, the situation in Afghanistan, expanding partnership in the economic sphere, and humanitarian issues.
The meeting in a narrow format addressed the issue of the chairman of the CIS Executive Committee. The President of Turkmenistan in this regard said that Sergey Lebedev, whose powers expire in December this year, has been working as head of the Commonwealth Executive Committee for many years. According to the Turkmen leader, he works purposefully, with high responsibility and does a lot for the preservation and development of the Commonwealth. Berdimuhamedov emphasized that the Russian Federation was proposing to extend Lebedev's work period for another three-year period, and the heads of delegations also expressed support for this proposal.
Having announced the adoption of the relevant decision, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, on behalf of all those present, congratulated Sergey Lebedev on extending his term of office for another three years.
Then the meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the CIS continued in an expanded format, at which the President of Turkmenistan spoke. He noted that the purpose of today's meeting is to give new impetus to the work of the CIS, bring it to a level that meets the realities and trends of modern development, ensure the ability of the Commonwealth to adequately and timely respond to changes in the international and regional agenda.
The head of state informed his CIS colleagues that next year Turkmenistan will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the UN recognition of the country's permanent neutrality.
Over the years, our state, with its active position, has repeatedly demonstrated the high effectiveness of the practical application of the principles of neutralism in solving various international problems, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized. According to him, the neutral status of Turkmenistan in many cases has been and remains a factor in strengthening regional and international stability and security, developing multilateral economic and humanitarian cooperation.
According to the head of state, in order to discuss the benefits of neutrality as a political and legal category that can become an effective tool in the UN diplomatic arsenal, an international conference on peace, security and sustainable development will be held in Ashgabat on December 12, 2020. Taking the opportunity, the Turkmen leader invited all heads of state and heads of delegations of Commonwealth countries to participate in this conference and other events dedicated to the 25th anniversary of Turkmen neutrality.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, referring to the summit, said that at a meeting of the Council of Heads of State in a narrow format, a decision was made to transfer from January 1, 2020 the presidency of the Commonwealth of the Republic of Uzbekistan. In this regard, the Turkmen leader gave the floor to the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, who in his speech presented the concept of Uzbekistan's chairmanship in the CIS, voicing its main goals and objectives.
Then the head of Turkmenistan said that he had decided to award the chairman of the CIS, Sergey Lebedev, with the Order of Bitaraplyk (Neutrality). The Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee was awarded the highest award for his great personal contribution to the establishment of the permanent neutrality of independent Turkmenistan, and also taking into account his active participation in international life, special merits in strengthening friendship and cooperation between countries and peoples.
After that, a ceremony was held to present President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with the medal of the CIS Council for Humanitarian Cooperation and the Interstate Fund for Humanitarian Cooperation (IFES) of the Commonwealth For Merits in the Development of Humanitarian Cooperation. The award was presented to the Turkmen leader by the chairman of the board of the IFES, the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Russia, Polad Bulbul oglu, the co-chair of the board of the fund, the special representative of the president of the Russian Federation for international cultural cooperation, Mikhail Shvydkoy, and the executive director of the IFES, Anatoly Iksanov.
Then the signing ceremony of the summit documents of the CIS heads of state was held. The leaders of the countries of the Commonwealth adopted a declaration on strategic, economic cooperation of the CIS countries. Also, an appeal was adopted by the heads of state of the CIS countries to the peoples of the Commonwealth and the world community in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and a number of other documents.
The results of the Ashgabat summit were announced at a press conference in which the Chairman of the Executive Committee, CIS Executive Secretary Sergey Lebedev and the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov took part.
On the same day, in honor of the heads of delegations of the CIS countries, the President of Turkmenistan gave an official reception. After that, distinguished guests left Ashgabat.