The Summit of the Heads of Founding States of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea opened at the Congress Hall of Avaza National Tourist Zone.
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev; the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who is in Turkmenistan on a state visit; the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon; and the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, arrived in Turkmenbashi to attend the high-level meeting hosted by our country as the Chair of IFAS.
Prior to the opening of the summit, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held bilateral meetings with the leaders of Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.
One-on-one talks were followed by the pentalateral high-level meeting in restricted format.
The upcoming expanded meeting will address a wide range of issues. The sides will review the experience acquired in cooperation, the current state of the interstate collaboration and the prospects of joint activity towards tackling the issues of the Aral Sea, while restricted meetings offer opportunities to exchange views on several most pressing and pertinent issues on the regional agenda.
As the Chair of the IFAS, Turkmenistan suggests strengthening the coordination of activities within this structure. Since 2017, the IFAS Board meeting, the sessions of the Interstate Commission for Water Coordination and the Interstate Commission for Sustainable Development have been held.
In preparation for this Summit, much work was accomplished to draft the outcome document of the current meeting. We saw active development of documents such as the Concept of the Action Plan to Assist the Countries of the Aral Sea Basin (4th phase) and the Concept of the UN Special Program for the Countries of the Aral Sea Basin.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov called for the improvement of the Fund's activity, which is one of the central issues of the Concept of Turkmenistan's Chairmanship.
The President of Turkmenistan placed renewed emphasis on the expansion of cooperation in Central Asia and said that it was gratifying that Kazakhstan hosted the Summit of the countries of the region this March. Several years ago, the Turkmen side initiated the idea on developing a systematic approach towards regional partnership and presented its conceptual vision of the issue. The basic tenet is ensuring a clearly structured consistent work to examine cooperation in the region.
According to the Turkmen leader, expert meetings must be a first step in preparing regional Summits, to review issues that could be proposed for discussion at high-level meetings. Second, he proposed holding ministerial meetings to take stock of the expert work, outline priority issues on the agenda for regional cooperation, and, if need be, draft a set of necessary documents for Summits of head of states. Third, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that Summits of head of state must be based on the outcomes of ministerial meetings and drafted agenda, while it would also be desirable to prepare pentalateral documents.
If such practice proves itself as positive, we could consider establishing an Advisory Council of the Heads of State of Central Asia in the future. The above Concept was proposed by the Turkmen side, and we are looking forward to it being considered, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The President of Turkmenistan expressed his belief that such systematic approach could allow inviting heads of reputable international organizations, such as the UN, OSCE, CIS, to participate in discussions at regular Summits.
Source: Turkmenistan State News Agency-TDH