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July-2022: Following the Course of the Foreign Policy Initiatives of the Head of State

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Numerous working meetings, political consultations, business negotiations, forums, exhibitions and conferences organized in July of this year both in our country and abroad became a vivid evidence of the steady growth of Turkmenistan’s authority on the world stage in the context of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov’s foreign policy strategy.

The events held by ministries and departments in the tideway of the open door policy and broad international cooperation are targeted at activating strategic partnership for the sake of universal peace, progress and prosperity. A clear confirmation of this is the regular meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Turkish Commission on Economic Cooperation held in the capital in early July with the participation of the Vice-President of the Republic of Turkey Fuat Oktay, who arrived in our country at the head of a representative delegation.

The meeting noted the consistency and active interaction of the two states in all areas, in particular, designated such important spheres as construction and building material industry, energy, transport, food industry, agriculture, strengthening ties between business and entrepreneurial structures. The final protocol was signed according to the results of the meeting.

Also, on July 1, it was held a Turkmen-Turkish business forum dedicated to the intensification of bilateral partnership. Noting the prospects of the Turkmen market, where all conditions for successful investment activities have been created, the representatives of the Republic of Turkey expressed their readiness to further expand cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical and other sectors.

On July 4, a high-level sub-regional consultative hybrid meeting on promoting the Unified Health concept in Central Asia was held in the conference hall of the Yildiz Hotel in the capital. The forum was attended by representatives of the healthcare sector and the medical industry of Turkmenistan, the WHO Regional Office for Europe, reputable international and regional organizations, leading experts and specialists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.

The main purpose of the meeting was to unite international structures to strengthen cooperation at the intersection of humans, animals and the environment. The sides exchanged views on the Draft Roadmap for Cooperation in Central Asia for 2022-2025 and adopted the final document.

A meeting with the Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization Zhang Xianchen held at the Foreign Ministry on the same day distinguished that building up a comprehensive partnership with the WTO is an important form of integration into the system of international trade and economic relations.

In this context, it was emphasized that necessary measures are being taken in our country to improve the national legislative framework, foreign trade procedures and rules, and explanatory work among the population and business circles is being carried out through the media.

The round table, held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on July 5, was attended by heads and representatives of international organizations, diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan, a delegation of the World Trade Organization, members of the Government Commission on issues related to the accession of our state to the WTO.

It was noted that Turkmenistan’s obtaining the status of an acceding country to the WTO would help strengthen the position of our Motherland in foreign trade, increase its international authority as a reliable and responsible partner, attract foreign investment and expand constructive cooperation with this Organization.

A meeting held on the same day with the Ambassador of the United States of America to Turkmenistan, Matthew Stephen Klimow, discussed issues of the development of the Turkmen-American dialogue in a number of areas, in particular, political-diplomatic, trade-economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation. Particular attention was paid to the implementation of programs of mutual interest.

On the same day in Ashgabat, in the building of the Center of Public Organizations, the Secretariat of the National Commission of Turkmenistan on the Activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), together with the Office of the Peace Foundation, the Central Council of the Makhtumkuli Youth Organization hosted the conference “I create beauty” and the exhibition “Ashgabat is my design city”.

The conference considered issues related to the inclusion of one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Ashgabat – in the UNESCO Global Network of Creative Cities in the “Design” category, and discussed the results achieved and further steps in this direction. The implementation of this nomination application will not only be another fact of recognition of the merits of the Turkmen capital in strengthening international cultural partnership, but will also expand relations with cities around the world that also consider culture and creativity as a strategic element of sustainable socio-economic development.

The campaign, held in a hybrid format on July 5-6 by the Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the UN together with the Intergovernmental Commission of the International Transport Corridor Europe–Caucasus–Asia (TRACECA), The Intergovernmental Council of Road Workers and the International Center for Transport Diplomacy, stressed the importance of adopting the UN General Assembly Resolution 75/313 initiated by our country “Strengthening ties between all modes of transport to ensure stable and reliable international transport for sustainable development during and after the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19)”.

Within the framework of the meeting, the Permanent Mission of Turkmenistan to the UN conducted the procedure for creating a Group of Friends on Sustainable Transport on a virtual platform.

A letter was sent to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Chairman of the 76th session of the UN General Assembly Abdullah Shahid with information about the creation of this Group, which was attended by more than 90 representatives of UN member states.

On July 6, the Foreign Ministry held a meeting with a delegation of the Republic of Azerbaijan headed by Economy Minister Mikayil Jabbarov. The parties emphasized their readiness to increase cooperation in the field of energy, diversification of energy supply schemes to international markets.

The purpose of the online seminar organized by the OSCE Center in Ashgabat on July 6-7 was to highlight the best practices of OSCE participating states in ensuring sustainable transport and logistics chains during emergencies.

The event was attended by heads and representatives of a number of relevant government agencies and public organizations, international experts who emphasized the role of the development of digital transport corridors and their effective management during and after emergencies, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, demonstrated the digital transformation of the exchange of data, documents and experience in the development of international multimodal transport in Central Asia and the Caspian region.

On July 7, Ashgabat hosted a hybrid format conference dedicated to the 30th anniversary signing the Helsinki Final Act by Turkmenistan and the beginning of cooperation with the OSCE, organized by the OSCE Center in Ashgabat and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

The forum participants noted the importance of further development of relations in the fields of economy, energy and ecology, the creation of effective mechanisms for conflict prevention, countering political and religious extremism, transnational threats, drug trafficking and cross-border crime.

The speakers also highly appreciated the efforts and contribution of our country to ensuring peace and security in Europe by strengthening fruitful regional cooperation and developing economic ties across the Caspian Sea.

On July 8, as a result of a competitive selection within the framework of the International Program “Ambassadors Fund for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage” at the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan, it was approved the draft “The Buddha Head sculpture”, presented by the State Museum of the State Cultural Center of Turkmenistan in order to prevent the destruction and restoration of this value.

The eighth meeting of the Subcommittee on Security Cooperation of the Turkmen-Chinese Cooperation Committee, held on July 12 in the format of a videoconference, discussed the state and prospects of further cooperation in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism as a common contribution to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.

Following the meeting, a corresponding Protocol was signed.

During the meeting held on July 13 at the Foreign Ministry with the Minister of Energy and Infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates, Suhail Al Mazrouei, it was emphasized the high level of trusting dialogue between the top leadership of the two countries, positive cooperation within international organizations, in particular, the UN.

The sides also discussed priority areas for expanding mutually beneficial partnership, especially in the fields of energy, industry, high technology, in the field of rational use of renewable energy sources, ensuring energy security.

On July 14-22, the Turkmen delegation of the Intellectual Property Service of the Ministry of Finance and Economy of the country took part in the regular session of the Assembly of Member States of the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva (Switzerland), within the framework of which meetings of WIPO structural groups were held.

Topics such as challenges in the field of intellectual property protection, copyright and related rights, promotion of innovative technologies, the impact of the pandemic on the global economy are considered.

A meeting, held on July 15 at the Foreign Ministry with Svetlana Galkina, representative of the Department of Political Affairs and Peacebuilding of the UN Secretariat, denoted that Turkmenistan’s cooperation with the United Nations is developing in a wide range of areas.

The issues of cooperation in ensuring high standards of electoral processes and assistance in the conduct of elections, further partnership to improve the legal framework and strengthen national electoral institutions based on the study and adaptation of international norms and methods, as well as the exchange of experience in ensuring full access to voting facilities for people with disabilities through the introduction of affordable and effective electoral technologies were discussed.

On July 18-19, an international conference “International transport and Transit Corridors: interconnection and development” was held in Ashgabat, organized by the Agency for Transport and Communications under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan jointly with the Turkmen Forum NGO. It was attended by representatives of ministries and industry departments, international transport and forwarding companies, international organizations and financial institutions, diplomatic missions accredited in Turkmenistan, domestic and foreign media.

The agenda of the conference, held in a hybrid format, included such topics as the state of the global transport services market, geography and dynamics of cargo flows, opportunities to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of all modes of transport, diversification of transit and transport cooperation in the Eurasian space, risk control and accounting for logistics costs.

They also discussed issues related to the role of science and education in the development of the transport and communication complex, the introduction of advanced technologies, the expansion of existing and the creation of new transport corridors, and the expansion of international partnership in these areas.

On July 20, negotiations were held in the Turkmen capital with members of the Georgian delegation, following which a number of bilateral documents were signed concerning the priorities of cooperation in various sectors, in particular, in the trade, economic, transport, communication and energy spheres.

During a meeting with the Regional Representative of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights for Central Asia, Richard Komenda, held on July 21 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, there were discussed issues of the activities of the Interdepartmental Commission to ensure compliance with Turkmenistan’s international obligations in the field of human rights and international humanitarian law.

As it was emphasized, this year our country will have to send regular reports on the implementation of the recommendations of the relevant Committees on two documents: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).

During the visit, there were also held meetings in the Office of the Ombudsman of Turkmenistan, a number of ministries and the Institute of State, Law and Democracy.

The main topics on the agenda of the regular meeting of the National Commission of Turkmenistan on the activities of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), held on July 25 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, were the results of the Commission’s work for the first half of this year, plans for the coming period related to the opening of UNESCO chairs in higher educational institutions of the country, the inclusion of a number of secondary schools in the Association of UNESCO Schools.

At the same time, the preparation of preliminary nominating national and multilateral dossiers was discussed in order to expand the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List and the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity of UNESCO, in particular, the Koitendag Mountain Ecosystem, the Turan Deserts of the Temperate Zone with the participation of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan within the framework of the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Program, “Akhal-Teke horse breeding art and traditions of horse decoration”. Information was shared regarding the inclusion of Ashgabat in the UNESCO Global Network of Creative Cities in the “Design” category.

During the meeting with Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Turkmenistan Qian Naicheng held on July 28 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, it was emphasized the importance of further development of bilateral partnership in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, continuation of joint work in such areas as transport, energy, agriculture.

On the same day, the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Turkmenistan Akmaljon Kuchkarov was received at the Foreign Ministry of our country. The sides discussed issues of further strengthening of relations, in particular, the intensification of political, inter-parliamentary, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian dialogue, the implementation of investment projects and trade agreements between the two states.

The first meeting of the Working Group on Security between Turkmenistan and the United States of America held on July 30 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, touched upon the topics of the regional and international agenda, and emphasized the need for effective countering the threats of terrorism, drug trafficking and other types of illegal activities, combating cybercrime, and taking measures to strengthen information security.

Special emphasis has been placed on peace-building in Afghanistan, its political and economic stability, well-being and unity of the Afghan people. In this regard, it was noted the effectiveness of multilateral cooperation formats, including “Central Asia + USA” and “Turkmenistan-USA-Afghanistan”.

Thus, the presented review of the past month events is another evidence of the rapid development of independent neutral Turkmenistan, which is successfully implementing a peacekeeping policy targeted at universal well-being and progress under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.