As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev arrived in Ashgabat on 6 March with a state visit at the invitation of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
It should be underlined that this is the first visit of Shavkat Mirziyoyev to a foreign country as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, in his pre-election manifesto and his speech at the ceremony of inauguration as the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, stressed that Uzbekistan will carry out mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries, principally, with the neighbouring countries. This state visit of the President of our country vividly exhibits that Uzbekistan attaches a specific importance to good neighbourhood relations in its foreign policy.
Our people since ancient times have lived side by side, in friendship and accord with the Turkmen people, conducted trade, mutually enriched their cultures.
This proximity serves as a base for developing the cooperation between our countries. The Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan relations are steadily developing on the base of the Inter-governmental agreement on further strengthening friendship relations and comprehensive cooperation, signed in 2007.
The regular visits at the highest level reveals the highly developed international relations. This meeting of the Presidents of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is a logical continuation of a mutually beneficial and active dialogue, the foundation of which was laid by the First President of our country Islam Karimov.
An official meeting ceremony took place at the Independence square of Ashgabat. A guard of honour was formed in honour of the high-level guest. Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov reviewed the guard of honour. The anthems of the two countries were played.
The Oguzkhan palace hosted a face-to-face meeting of Presidents Shavkat Mirziyoyev and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The Heads of the two countries exchanged views on current state and prospects of further developing cooperation between our countries, substantial regional and international issues of mutual interest.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev cordially congratulated Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with his re-election as the President of Turkmenistan. He particularly highlighted that a solid cooperation has been instated between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, this visit is a logical continuation of steadily developing, mutually beneficial and active negotiations.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to Shavkat Mirziyoyev for paying his first state visit after being elected President of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan, underscored that this historical event will serve to exploit the unused opportunities of our countries in further strengthening the interactions.
The foreign policy of the Republic of Uzbekistan is based on the principles of sovereign equality of states, non-use of force or threat of force, inviolability of borders, resolution of conflicts only through peaceful means, non-interference to internal affairs of other countries and other universally acknowledged norms of international law. The foreign policy of Turkmenistan is based on the principles of neutrality, peacefulness and good neighbourliness.
Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan mutually support each other at the international arena. A consistent cooperation is carried out within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic cooperation, the International Fund for saving the Aral Sea and other international organizations.
The unity of the views of our countries on establishing stability in neighbouring Afghanistan only through political means was also corroborated. The parties exchanged views on the fight against terrorism, drug trafficking and organized crime, strengthening regional security.
The Presidents carried on negotiations on an extended set-up with the official delegations of the two countries. The attention was paid to the issues of further developing cooperation in commerce, economy, petrochemicals, transport communications, agriculture, culture, tourism and other spheres. The issues of diversifying trade-economic ties, enhancing the variety of exports and imports, increasing the trade turnover were discussed.
Uzbekistan exports to Turkmenistan transport vehicles, mineral fertilizers, agricultural products, construction materials, electrical and mechanical equipment, metal products and services in different spheres. Petroleum products, propylene polymers and other chemicals are imported from Turkmenistan to our country.
The parties accentuated that the volume of mutual trade does not correspond to the existing potential and the capacities of the economic spheres for its extension should be analysed.
Intergovernmental events, meetings of business circles serve to further develop interactions. In September 2016 and in January 2017 the meetings of the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan intergovernmental commission on trade-economic, scientific-technical and cultural cooperation took place in Tashkent.
A transport sphere is one of the priority areas of cooperation. Cargo, destined to Turkmenistan, is transported through the territory of Uzbekistan and vice versa. Mutually integrated road and railway lines of our countries also carry out transit functions for third countries. In this regard, the agreement on construction of the Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman transport-communications corridor, signed in 2011 and a practical implementation of the initiative of the First President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov, has a geostrategic significance. Road and railway bridges, built on the Amudarya river, which will be opened within the framework of this visit of the Head of our state, are an important part of this transport corridor.
Both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are rich in hydrocarbon resources. Their export requires mutually agreed actions, which enhances opportunities of our countries in diversifying their energy sector and in ensuring access to world markets. The Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline, commissioned in 2009, is a brilliant corroboration of this.
During the talks, an agreement was reached to engross new areas of cooperation, expand the scale of trade and economic relations, develop direct contacts between the regions.
A particular attention was attached to the issues of rational use of transboundary rivers, fight against desertification, environmental protection.
The Uzbek and Turkmen people share common history and culture, their traditions and customs are close. Scientific and creative heritage of our ancestors are a common property of our people. This proximity is a solid base for developing cooperation in cultural-humanitarian spheres. The representatives of culture and arts, athletes of the two countries actively take part in different concerts, festivals, exhibitions and sports competitions, held in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. In September 2016 the Uzbek cinema days were held in Turkmenistan, while in November the Turkmen culture days were organized in our country.
Our countries also possess huge opportunities in tourism. Within the “Great Silk Road” project, tours to Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are organized for citizens of the two countries.
The cooperation in science is also advancing. Scientists of the two countries carry out joint research in agriculture, petrochemicals and other spheres.
Following negotiations, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and Shavkat Mirziyoyev adopted a Joint Statement and signed an Agreement on strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan.
The respective ministries and agencies of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan also signed an agreement on Economic Cooperation for 2018 – 2020 and memorandum on further Development of Cooperation in Railroad Transport, an Intergovernmental Programme of Cooperation in Cultural and Humanitarian Sphere for 2017 – 2019, Programme of cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Republic of Uzbekistan for 2017 – 2018, contracts on the supply of agricultural machinery and chemicals from Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan. Agreements on Cooperation in Trade and Economic, Cultural and Humanitarian spheres between Dashoguz Velayat and Khorezm Region and between Lebap Velayat and Bukhara Regions were also signed.
During the meeting with the representatives of mass media, the Presidents underlined that this visit was a good opportunity to discuss crucial issues of the bilateral relations, to exchange views on the regional and international problems. The negotiations were held in the spirit of openness, mutual understanding and friendship, the signed documents will serve the interests of the people of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, the Presidents said.
Shavkat Mirziyoyev presented to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov a book by Mahtumquli “Elingga bakhsh ayla”, recently published in our country. The President of Turkmenistan, noting that a book is the best present, expressed gratitude to the President of our country.
In the second half of the day, the Presidents of the two countries went to the International Akhalteki horse complex. The President of Turkmenistan presented a thoroughbred horse to Shavkat Mirziyoyev.
The President of our country laid a wreath to the Monument of Independence of Turkmenistan, planted a seedling at the Alley of honoured guests. It is noteworthy that here in 2007 First President of our country Islam Karimov also planted a tree.
The Head of our state laid a wreath to the mausoleum of Saparmurat Niyazov.
The state visit of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev to Turkmenistan is continuing.