Official visit to Turkmenistan
Belarus and Turkmenistan confirm readiness to expand bilateral relations in various areas. This is the result of the official negotiations of Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow which took place in Ashgabat on 30 March.
The heads of state had one-on-one and extended talks. After the talks the sides signed a number of international documents and passed a joint statement in which they mentioned a positive dynamics in the interstate dialogue. The presidents also spoke in positive terms about the implementation of the previous agreements. They mentioned the readiness to deepen bilateral relations in politics, trade, economy, science, technology, culture and the humanitarian field.
The presidents emphasized mutual interest in promoting peace and stability, establishing the atmosphere of trust and mutual understanding at the regional and international levels.
“You should know that you have a reliable foothold and good friends in the center of Europe. You can count on Belarus. I am absolutely convinced that the government of this wonderful country led by its president, my old friend, will count on us,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said during the talks with Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow.
The head of state emphasized that Belarus is ready to share its experience in various fields with Turkmenistan. “In the past years, literally within five years, our trade in goods and services reached $300 million. This is a good indicator. We are making progress in this field. We have managed to solve many issues in trade in this complicated time. I think that moving in this direction we will do a lot in Belarus and Turkmenistan,” the President of Belarus is convinced.
Aleksandr Lukashenko praised the achievements of Turkmenistan in the economy. “The successful implementation of this ambitious joint project to build the Garlyk mining and processing factory has once again demonstrated a high potential of our cooperation,” the President said. “We are ready to continue our work regarding the maintenance of the project, personnel training.”
During the talks the sides also discuss promising avenues for the development of cooperation. For example, Belarus is ready to provide logistics centers to Turkmenistan to organize the delivery of products to Europe. “You can sell your products from the territory of Belarus on the European premium market. We will provide logistics centers, warehouses, equipment. This segment is vigorously developing in Belarus. Think what to sell in Europe to get maximum benefits, we will determine ways,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
The head of state also added that many countries saw a kind of a springboard in Turkmenistan which can be used for the trade with large regions, the delivery of goods to, for example, Iran, Pakistan, India, and Arab countries. “We need to make up our minds and choose a corridor for the transportation of our cargoes to Turkmenistan and especially from Turkmenistan,” the Belarusian leader said.
Belarusian machine-building products are in demand in Turkmenistan. We are ready to sell self-propelled and towed agricultural machines here and more than that. We can try creating – well, not try but make for sure, we see the interest — a diesel train for operating in these hot climatic conditions,” Aleksandr Lukashenko remarked.
The two countries are united in their drive to develop science. Belarus welcomes cooperation in this direction and hopes for concrete R&D products in agriculture, energy saving, healthcare, and biotechnologies. “Our specialists are in demand here. I think we can make considerable progress in this field,” the Belarusian head of state said.
The development of humanitarian cooperation, particularly in education, was an important topic of the today’s negotiations. “Partnership in the training of Turkmen students at our universities can be called an example. But the economy needs not only engineers, doctors. It also need highly-qualified blue-collar workers. So I invited the president and our Turkmen friends to pay attention to the level of vocational training in Belarus, the training of specialists at Belarusian colleges. If you are interested, we are also ready provide considerable assistance here,” the head of state stressed.
The negotiations focused closely on bolstering the effectiveness of Belarus-Turkmenistan trade and economic cooperation. The Belarusian head of state said: “We have expressly stated that our potential is huge in this regard and the level we have reached today fails to live up to this potential. We have to raise mutual trade by any means possible. We should sell services, including civil engineering ones so that the trade turnover could be even higher.”
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, in turn, stressed that the cooperation between the states is increasingly vibrant. “The main thing is that it is enhancing every year. We are convinced that we will reach a high level in our cooperation,” he said.
The President of Turkmenistan said that Belarus pursues a responsible and peaceful foreign policy. The country has been a consistent supporter of the stronger role of the United Nations, respect for international law, and development of effective mechanisms to promote partnership and cooperation.
On 30 March, the heads also took part in the opening of the complex of buildings of the Belarusian embassy in Turkmenistan. It is symbolic that Aleksandr Lukashenko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow took part in the opening of the Turkmenistan embassy in Belarus a year ago. “Such events mean a lot in the diplomatic world. The construction of the buildings of the embassy confirms the strategic character of our partnership, it is a symbol of the time-tested friendship of the Belarusian and Turkmen people which we value so much,” Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized.
The President of Belarus also laid a wreath to the Eternal Glory Monument in the Halk Hakydasy Memorial Complex (People's Memory) in Ashgabat.