Aleksandr Lukashenko meets with Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers – Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan

    Belarus sees broad prospects for cooperation with Turkmenistan and is ready to step it up. Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko made the statement as he met with Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan Rasid Meredow on 20 March.

    Aleksandr Lukashenko drew attention to the significant increase in trade between the two countries in the last few years. The President said that Belarus-Turkmenistan trade was close to $0.5 billion. “It is a very decent figure. Who could have thought several years ago that we can do it?” wondered the head of state.

    The President remarked that some people doubt the advisability of tight cooperation with Turkmenistan. However, Aleksandr Lukashenko said he believes that opportunities for Turkmenistan in the international scene are colossal and the interest in the country is huge, in particular, the interest in the extraction of natural resources. “Pragmatically speaking, we will always be able to find a good piece of work for us to do,” said the Belarusian head of state.

    At the same time Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that Belarusian operations in Turkmenistan are carried out with benefits for Turkmenistan in mind. In particular, the President mentioned the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing factory by Belarusian specialists for the sake of manufacturing potash fertilizers and the shipment of machines to Turkmenistan.

    “In short, prospects for our cooperation are huge. And we would like to bolster the efforts on mutually beneficial terms,” stressed the President. Addressing Rasid Meredow, Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked that he would like to discuss serious prospects and problems in cooperation between the two countries if any problems indeed exist. The President also asked to convey his best wishes to “the great friend — the Turkmenistan president — and tell him we are looking forward to his visit to Belarus”.

    In turn, Rasid Meredow remarked that while sending him to Minsk, the Turkmenistan president instructed him to discuss a number of matters concerning bilateral cooperation. Rasid Meredow thanked the Belarusian head of state for personal attention to the development of bilateral cooperation. “You do a great deal to fill cooperation with new content,” he said. In his words, every meeting of the leaders of the two countries gives a powerful impulse to the development of bilateral cooperation, advancing it to new levels, and generating new ideas with creation in mind. Apart from that, Rasid Meredow drew attention to the humanitarian component of cooperation and underlined its importance. Many Turkmen students study in Belarus, getting high-quality education in civil engineering, power engineering, economics, and jurisprudence. “You do a lot for bolstering the humanitarian component of the bilateral relations,” said the guest.