Official visit of Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov

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Belarus and Turkmenistan are going to bolster mutually beneficial cooperation in all avenues. This agreement was reached at the meeting of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Minsk on 11 May.

During the one-on-one meeting Aleksandr Lukashenko pointed out the importance of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s arrival in Minsk. The Belarusian head of state suggested bilateral cooperation with in the context of the complicated situation in the world and working out measures to overcome negative trends which have an impact on Belarus and Turkmenistan. At the meeting the sides praised a high level of political interaction. Belarus and Turkmenistan have similar positions on the international arena, in particular, regarding the need to ensure stability and security in the world. They promote these ideas in such international organization as the UN, OSCE, CIS. Belarus and Turkmenistan support each other at international platforms and will continue doing it in the future, Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

During the extended negotiations the sides discussed the prospects of the trade, economic, and investment cooperation. Turkmenistan is respected worldwide for its balanced policy. This country initiate infrastructure projects of huge importance for Central Asia. Turkmenistan views Belarus as a promising partner in a large-scale transit project to organize a combined network of the transport transit and logistics infrastructure. It will comprise transit continental corridors to the regions of the Caspian Sea, the Black Sea, and the Baltic Sea.

The head of state noted that the Minsk-Ashgabat partnership has a number of backbone areas that add stability to bilateral ties. “First of all, it is the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing factory which promotes the development of others areas of interaction,” Aleksandr Lukashenko stressed. “This project is of paramount importance for Belarus.” During the talks the president stressed that the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing factory should be completed in 2017. The President of Turkmenistan expressed confidence that this colossal project will bring huge economic benefits to the two states.

The delivery of Belarusian equipment to Turkmenistan was also on the agenda. For many years Belarusian machine builders exported tractors and freight vehicles adapted to Turkmenistan’s climatic conditions to this country. “We are eager to restore that level of export,” the President of Belarus said.

Belarus is ready to contribute to the implementation of programs to develop Turkmenistan’s agriculture and processing sectors and projects to design the country’s railway infrastructure. Belarus can offer fodder harvesters, tractor-mounted and trailing equipment, and technologies for the manufacture, storage and processing of agricultural products.

The Belarusian head of state also noted that Turkmenistan and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov himself attach great significance to the development of the country’s transport network. “Our joint efforts to design Turkmenistan’s rail infrastructure and train personnel will help you further solve difficult technical tasks by yourself. We are ready to assist you in this. We can participate in the construction of thoroughfares in Turkmenistan including under subcontracting arrangements,” the head of state said.

The countries have secured tangible accomplishments in R&D cooperation. The high-tech project for starting the production of unmanned aerial vehicles in Turkmenistan is being jointly implemented. According to the President, the potential of joint projects in the area of computer technologies represents a promising reserve of scientific and technical cooperation. Belarusian IT companies are ready to continue introducing modern technologies in various industries.

According to the President of Belarus, cultural dialogue has a special place in the bilateral agenda. Belarusian people are happy to welcome Turkmen figures of art once again. The tradition to hold mutual Days of Culture is an important factor of enhancing friendly relations between the two nations, the head of state is convinced.

After the talks Aleksandr Lukashenko told reporters that Belarus and Turkmenistan agreed on mutual steps to build up bilateral trade. The President noted that Turkmenistan is among Belarus’ strategic partners. The two countries enjoy friendly and sincere relations. Annual meetings between the heads of state in Minsk and Ashgabat testify to the fact.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, mutually beneficial trade is a basis of the Belarusian-Turkmen relations. The first two months of 2016 saw positive changes in mutual trade, which increased by almost 75%. However, as the head of state believes, the two states should not rest on their laurels. The parties outlined new prospects and mutual projects in industry, agriculture, transport and science. A number of agreements were also reached to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in trade, education, culture and sport.

After the talks the presidents signed a joint statement, in which they highlighted a good dynamics of interstate relations, pointed out the need to coordinate efforts in universal and regional organizations, step up the fight against extremism, international terrorism and illegal drug trade, reaffirmed the priority character of expanding mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation. A number of bilateral documents aimed at the development of cooperation between Belarus and Turkmenistan, including in culture, sport, education and mass media, were signed in the presence of Aleksandr Lukashenko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. An intergovernmental agreement was signed to cancel VAT on the goods imported by the Belarusian-Turkmen trading house to the territory of the two countries.

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also planted a tree on the Alley of Distinguished Guests near the Palace of Independence.