THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF TURKMENISTAN DELIVERED A SPEECH AT THE “CENTRAL ASIA - EU” MEETING
On October 23, 2023, in Luxembourg, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov took part in the 19th ministerial meeting “Central Asia - European Union”. In his statement, he highlighted the main areas of cooperation with the EU and priorities in interaction, which are aimed at the long term.
First, the importance of maintaining international peace and security is emphasized. In this context, the head of Foreign ministry especially drew attention to the initiative to develop a Global Security Strategy put forward by the President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly. The Turkmen diplomat informed about the main directions of this Strategy, focused on preventive diplomacy, using neutrality for peaceful solutions and restoring trust and dialogue.
Second, issues of economic cooperation with the EU are highlighted. In this regard, the minister emphasized the importance of interregional trade, economic and financial partnership. He noted the EU's support in strengthening transit links and developing the private sector in Central Asia. The Foreign minister also touched upon the issue of Turkmenistan’s accession to the World Trade Organization and the need for further interaction with European partners in this direction.
Third, noting the important role of creating new transport links connecting Central Asia and Europe, R.Meredov highlighted multilateral efforts to develop the Caspian Sea-Black Sea route. A proposal was put forward to hold a high-level meeting in Turkmenistan in 2024 to further strengthen transport connectivity.
Fourth, speaking about cooperation in the energy sector, the Turkmen diplomat indicated that the transportation of energy resources is of crucial importance for Turkmenistan. Particular emphasis was placed on expanding gas exports to Europe through the Trans-Caspian Gas Pipeline and promoting international cooperation in the clean and renewable energy sectors. In this context, the head of the Foreign ministry called for support for two UN General Assembly resolutions initiated by Turkmenistan on sustainable transport and on the mobility of energy resources.
Fifth, the minister reaffirmed Turkmenistan’s commitment to environmental protection and mitigation of climate change. He spoke about national programs such as the “Green Belt” and voiced the head of state’s proposal to create a Regional Center for Climate Technologies in Ashgabat to solve the problem of climate change.
Sixth, again noting the importance of education as the basis of the country’s socio-economic development, R.Meredov highly appreciated the EU Erasmus + program and proposed strengthening ties between Turkmen and European educational institutions.
In conclusion, the Minister emphasized the huge potential for interaction in various sectors, including healthcare and the digital economy.
As a result of the ministerial meeting in Luxembourg, the Joint Roadmap for deepening ties between the EU and Central Asia, as well as the Joint Communiqué of the 19th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting, were adopted.
The participating countries of the format supported the holding of the next anniversary ministerial meeting “Central Asia - EU” in 2024 in Turkmenistan.