Aleksandr Lukashenko pays official visit to Turkmenistan 

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Belarus and Turkmenistan demonstrate willingness and determination to promote close all-round cooperation, long-term strategic partnership which has a big potential. The statement was made presidents of the two countries at the negotiations in Ashgabat on 5 November.

The Belarusian head of state, who paid an official visit to Turkmenistan on 4-5 November, held one-on-one talks with Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. The two presidents also held extended negotiations which were attended by both delegations. After the meetings Belarus and Turkmenistan signed a number of documents.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, annual contacts and meetings between the presidents of the two countries allow monitoring the status of implementation of big joint projects. "This gives a very good economic effect," he believes.

The Belarusian head of state emphasized that trade and economic relations between Belarus and Turkmenistan have been increasingly vibrant: “It would be good if we had such relations with all states. For the past five years the trade has increased five times. This is a very good pace.” "We will continue to be very responsive to the requests of Turkmenistan partners, and we will do our best to develop joint ventures, both in Belarus and Turkmenistan," he said.

He stressed that MAZ, MTZ and Amkodor vehicles have made a good showing in Turkmenistan’s weather conditions. “We are ready to provide the whole range of attached and towing equipment of the highest quality,” the Belarusian leader said.

The presidents discussed supplies of Belarusian agricultural, automobile equipment and public transport vehicles to Turkmenistan for the next two years.

A proposal to open a service center in Turkmenistan was voiced by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. “We purchase a lot of your machinery. It would be great to open service centers,” he noted. With this, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow assured the Belarusian side that Turkmenistan would continue buying Belarusian equipment.

Aleksandr Lukashenko supported the initiative. “We understand that if we come to the country, we should open service centers. We will address the issue in the near future,” the Belarusian leader said. The center will serve the whole range of Belarusian vehicles supplied to Turkmenistan. It is possible that the center will branch out to the country’s regions in the future.

“We are grateful that in a wide range of offers that you get from all over the world you give preference to our goods and equipment. We are ready to continue working in this direction,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

The most large-scale bilateral project of Belarus and Turkmenistan is the turn-key construction of the Garlyk mining and processing plant. Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed that it is a top priority for Belarus to fulfill the contract in a quality manner.

“We have agreed that in the near future a group of specialists led by the prime minister will arrive in Turkmenistan to settle all the issues that may exist in the construction of the Garlyk factory. The group will also report the final schedule for commissioning the factory,” the Belarusian leader remarked.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, for his part, underlined that the large-scale project to build the Garlyk mining and processing factory was a symbol of the bilateral economic cooperation. “We will closely monitor the construction progress in order to make sure that the agreements that have been made will be fulfilled with quality in mind,” he noted.

Speaking about politics and diplomacy, the Belarusian head of state stressed that Belarus and Turkmenistan have never had any disagreements. The parties share common views on the international agenda and actively support each other in various international organizations.

The two presidents pointed out rapid development of cooperation in the humanitarian area. Today over 8,000 Turkmen students receive education in Belarus. Besides, Belarus trains mid-tier specialists for the Garlyk mining and processing factory which is under construction in Turkmenistan. Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized that Belarus is ready to expand the export of education services to Turkmenistan. Therefore, Aleksandr Lukashenko proposed to establish a youth compound "Turkmen islet" which would comprise, for example, hostels or hotels for students.

The President of Belarus stressed that humanitarian cooperation promotes strengthening of mutual understanding and friendly relations between the nations. Aleksandr Lukashenko made a special emphasis on cultural cooperation, recalling the recent tour of Turkmen Trick Riders in Belarus. The parties agreed on the exchange of Culture Days of Belarus and Turkmenistan in 2014-2015.

The Belarusian head of state stressed the importance of maintaining friendly relations between Belarus and Turkmenistan, which makes the basis of the bilateral cooperation. “Our ideology is to unite our nations so that no one could destroy our friendship. I think we have good relations, we can even say, exemplary. They can serve as an example to others,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, for his part, noted that this year the two countries are celebrating the 20th anniversary of diplomatic relations. The two states have done a lot over these two decades in what concerns the development of relations in almost every area. The President of Turkmenistan named the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing factory the main project in the trade and economic sector.

The Belarusian head of state mentioned the increase in joint scientific and technological efforts in the last few years. “Negotiations are now in progress on supplying the Turkmen side with multipurpose unmanned aerial systems developed by the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus including their consequent joint production in Turkmenistan,” Aleksandr Lukashenkosaid.

The President of Belarus underlined that mutually beneficial scientific and technical cooperation is an important factor for quality economic growth of the two countries. He remarked that the academies of sciences of Belarus and Turkmenistan are preparing a program for cooperation in science and technologies for signing. The program includes 21 joint projects. The first session of the relevant intergovernmental commission is expected to take place in Minsk soon. “We will show our capabilities to your specialists. We are ready to show everything we are capable of,” the Belarusian leader noted.

Special attention was drawn to the development of cooperation in sport. Aleksandr Lukashenko invited athletes of Turkmenistan to come to us not only for competitions, but also for joint training with Belarusian athletes. The President of Turkmenistan has welcomed this initiative.

"We expect a significant boost in the bilateral relations in sport, especially after we signed a two-year program of cooperation in this area during the current visit,” the Belarusian leader stated.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow asked the opinion of Aleksandr Lukashenko of a friendly match held between the junior team of Turkmenistan and the team-winner of the Belarusian national competition The Golden Puck. “Yesterday I watched some parts of the match. Our guys are younger than yours. But I, as a person who understands a bit about ice hockey, must say that your team is a good team. I really liked the physical fitness of your guys. I would like to see them play in Belarus with their peers,” the Belarusian leader said. The President of Belarus commended the achievements of Turkmenistan in the development of ice hockey. "I never thought that the country, where summer temperatures are +45 degrees Celsius, could build ice arenas and teach people to play hockey in such a short period of time,” Aleksandr Lukashenko noted.

After the negotiations the presidents stressed that Turkmenistan and Belarus demonstrated their willingness and determination to promote close all-round cooperation.

The heads of state said that the two countries are well-positioned to intensify an interstate dialogue in multiple fields. “We have once again confirmed our plans to promote peace and stability. Closer ties between the two nations will strengthen global security,” Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said.

Both countries are ready to step up cooperation in the bilateral format and within the framework of international organizations, like the United Nations.

The president agreed to promote contacts in trade, fuel and energy complex, construction, transport and communications, processing and chemical industries, agriculture, light industry.

“Our cooperation can be described as a true strategic partnership; it is based on a long-term foundation and has a huge potential,” the Belarusian President said.

The sides signed a number of documents on developing all-round cooperation between Belarus and Turkmenistan.

The government and the National Bank of Belarus signed an agreement on regulation of mutual commitments and financial claims with the government and the Central Bank of Turkmenistan.

The National Bank of Belarus and the Central Bank of Turkmenistan also signed an agreement on cooperation.

The governments of the two countries inked a memorandum of cooperation in healthcare, medical (pharmaceutical) science, education and provision of medical services to citizens of Belarus and Turkmenistan.

The Foreign Ministries of the two states signed a program of cooperation for 2014-2015.

The bilateral legal framework in the area of science and education got one more program on cooperation between the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan in science and technology, an agreement on the scientific and technical cooperation between the Institute Chemistry of New Materials of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus and the Institute of Chemistry of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan. An agreement on cooperation was signed between the BelarusianStateUniversity and the MahtumkuliTurkmenStateUniversity.

An agreement on cooperation was signed between the Belarusian Universal Commodity Exchange and the State Commodity Exchange of Turkmenistan.

Belarusian President Aleksandr Lukashenko and President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow passed a joint statement urging to expand friendly ties and cooperation between the two countries.

The heads of state praised the pace of the interstate political dialogue and the progress in implementing earlier agreements and documents.

The presidents of Belarus and Turkmenistan said that the two countries have similar or the same stance on key issues of the international agenda and confirmed their intentions to deepen mutually beneficial cooperation on the international arena. The two leaders deem it necessary to ramp up bilateral and multilateral efforts to enhance regional security and stability.

The document emphasizes that respect, trust, openness and mutual benefits are the fundamental principles of the bilateral relations. The heads of state noted it is necessary to intensify the political dialogue on the highest level and to step up cooperation in trade, economy, energy sector, finances, transport industry, science and engineering, culture, humanitarian field and other areas.

The presidents voiced plans to expand and diversify the bilateral trade, come up with long-term forms of economic cooperation and increase mutual investments on the basis of generally accepted rules and requirements of international trade.

They pointed to the important role of Belarus-Turkmenistan intergovernmental commission for economic cooperation. They believe the commission should intensify its work.

The presidents emphasized the importance of closer ties in agriculture. This pertains to the establishment of joint ventures to produce and process agricultural products.

Humanitarian field is another important area of cooperation. The presidents agreed to boost cooperation in healthcare and medicine, sport and tourism. The heads of state also agreed on arranging the Days of Culture of the Republic of Belarus in Turkmenistan and the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in Belarus.

Aleksandr Lukashenko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow confirmed their commitment to stepping up efforts to combat terrorism, political and religious extremism, drug trafficking, illegal migration, cross-border organized crime, and illegal arms trade.

Aleksandr Lukashenko thanked his Turkmen counterpart for hospitality and a warm welcome. The Belarusian head of state invited Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow to pay an official visit to Belarus.

The same day the Belarusian President laid wreaths in the Mausoleum of President Turkmenbasy and at the Monument to the Constitution of Turkmenistan, planted a tree at the Alley of Distinguished Guests near the Monument to the Constitution of Turkmenistan.