President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov paid a working visit to Kyrgyzstan to participate in the fourth consultative meeting of the heads of state of Central Asia. The summit, which was also attended by the heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, was held in the city of Cholpon Ata.
Before the start of the summit, President Sadyr Japarov and President Serdar Berdimuhamedov held talks at the residence of the Kyrgyz leader. The parties discussed topical problems of developing cooperation between the countries of the Central Asian region. Sadyr Japarov also invited Serdar Berdimuhamedov to pay an official visit to Kyrgyzstan in the near future. The invitation was accepted with gratitude, the dates of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.
Then a consultative meeting of the heads of five states of the region took place. Speaking at the summit, the President of Turkmenistan noted that over the year that has passed since the third consultative meeting of the heads of state of Central Asia in the city of Turkmenbashi, significant transformations have taken place in the world, new realities and challenges have arisen that have not bypassed Central Asia.
“Unfortunately, we cannot yet say that peace in the wide Eurasian space is unshakable, and stability has become irreversible,” the head of Turkmenistan said, stressing that there are threats, and they manifest themselves in different forms and under different circumstances.
In this regard, the head of state reaffirmed Turkmenistan's firm support for the timely and decisive actions of the leaders of the Central Asian states aimed at maintaining peace in the country, protecting the lives and safety of citizens, and ensuring the stability of state and public institutions.
Among the challenges to the region, Serdar Berdimuhamedov named attempts to penetrate Central Asia by extremist and radical elements, the terrorist threat, drug trafficking and other types of illegal activities.
The President of Turkmenistan also noted the negative impact on the situation in Central Asia of the consequences of military-political conflicts occurring in relative proximity to the borders of the region, the illegal use of information technologies, the planting of ideas and attitudes from outside that run counter to the historical traditions of the peoples of Central Asia.
“The listed challenges require the adoption of effective measures to create a strong and long-term security system in the region, neutralize potential threats that could hinder or slow down our progress. Together we must make sure that Central Asia remains a zone of stability and trust, not subject to risks for peace and development,” the head of Turkmenistan said.
He noted the expediency of intensifying and strengthening political and diplomatic cooperation while coordinating the foreign ministries of the region's countries through the mechanism of five-party regular consultations. The head of state stressed the need for constant monitoring of the situation, timely exchange of information, objective analysis of events taking place in the world as a basis for decision-making.
The President of Turkmenistan proposed, in addition, to instruct the foreign ministries of the Central Asian states to develop a security roadmap for the next two years with the participation of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia.
According to the Turkmen leader, in order to effectively protect the information space in the region, it is necessary to strengthen professional ties between the state information structures of the countries of the region and develop a kind of "code of conduct" when covering sensitive topics. In this regard, Serdar Berdimuhamedov suggested considering the idea of holding a Central Asian media forum dedicated to security issues with the participation of state news agencies, electronic and print media.
“I believe that this will give a good incentive to create a positive information background, a better understanding of the real situation in the region, the course and direction of the processes taking place here, the efforts of states and governments to ensure conditions for the peaceful and stable development of Central Asia, the well-being of our peoples,” the President emphasized. .
The Turkmen leader also touched upon the Afghan problem, noting that the most important part of cooperation in the field of regional security is still joint work in the Afghan direction. “We, as neighboring states of Afghanistan, which have special historical ties with it, need to continue to step up efforts aimed at stabilizing the situation in this country, creating conditions for achieving national agreement through peaceful dialogue, promoting international efforts to combat terrorism, providing the people of Afghanistan with economic and humanitarian assistance,” the head of Turkmenistan said.
According to him, Ashgabat welcomes the international conference on Afghanistan scheduled for the end of July this year in Tashkent.
During his speech, Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted that the Central Asian countries are called upon to set an example of respect, equality and trust in relations with each other, as well as to actively promote these ideas in the international arena.
The Turkmen leader said that Ashgabat is currently preparing initiatives at the UN to declare 2023 the international year of "Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace" and to develop a General Assembly resolution "Zone of Peace and Trust in Central Asia", stressing that he counts on the support of these proposals by all countries of the region.
In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan paid special attention to the development of trade, economic and investment cooperation between the states of Central Asia.
“Transport and logistics are the cornerstone of this strategy. I believe that the efforts of our countries can and should be aimed at achieving the main goal - the creation of a powerful and modern infrastructure that would ensure the unification of the transport systems of Central Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region,” the head of state said.
At the same time, he confirmed the readiness of Turkmenistan for joint work on the development of the transport route Central Asia - the Caspian Sea - the Black Sea and Central Asia - the Persian Gulf.
Recalling that an international conference of ministers of landlocked developing countries is planned to be held in Turkmenistan in August, the Turkmen leader expressed hope for the initiative participation of the Central Asian countries in this forum, aimed at developing coordinated approaches to the formation of international transport and logistics corridors. In this regard, a proposal was made to hold a separate meeting of the heads of transport departments of the Central Asian countries within the framework of the conference, the theme of which is the increase in cargo flows within the region, as well as from Central Asia to China and Europe.
“We look forward to continuing and expanding our partnership in the energy sector. Our common asset already has a major energy project implemented - the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline. We are ready to consider, together with partners, opportunities for a significant increase in energy supplies and expansion of their transit configuration,” the head of Turkmenistan emphasized.
Speaking about cultural and humanitarian interaction, Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted that Central Asia is one of the cradles of world civilization, and today the countries of the region are faced with the task of creating a single cultural space as a system of complex, multifaceted interaction between the cultural communities of the Central Asian states.
At the end of his speech, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed that today, in the conditions of extreme aggravation of the world situation, the countries of the region need to maintain unity and solidarity, show responsibility and foresight at all costs.
In the speeches of other participants of the summit, the importance of this forum in the further strengthening and development of relations between the countries of Central Asia was noted. The relevance and necessity of complex interaction through bilateral and multilateral events, mutual visits in order to promote the prosperity and stability of the states of the region were especially emphasized.
As a result of the consultative meeting of the heads of states of Central Asia, a number of documents were adopted.
In the cultural center "Ruh-Ordo" named after Chingiz Aitmatov, in honor of the leaders of the countries participating in the fourth consultative meeting, an official dinner was given on behalf of the President of Kyrgyzstan. Upon completion of the program of the working visit, the head of the Turkmen state went to the Issyk-Kul international airport, from where he left for his homeland.