December 2022: following the course of foreign policy initiatives of the head of state

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The last month of the past year was full of international events. The meetings, negotiations, forums held in December in bilateral and multilateral formats serve as a clear confirmation that independent Turkmenistan, following the policy of “open doors” pursued by President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, is playing an increasingly active role in addressing topical issues of regional and global development.

December began with a significant event: at the 17th session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, held in the city of Rabat (Kingdom of Morocco), it was unanimously decided to include the nomination “The Art of Turkmen Embroidery” proposed by Turkmenistan into the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

On December 5, the Turkmen-American business forum was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which was attended by heads and leading specialists of government and business structures of the two friendly countries.

The main topics of discussion included the activities of the Business Council “Turkmenistan-USA”, its role in strengthening economic cooperation, built on a long-term and mutually beneficial basis. The parties considered priority areas for expanding trade and investment relations in industry, agriculture, supplies of equipment for the national agro-industry and water management, as well as developing partnerships in the fuel and energy sector, in the field of transport and communications, construction, innovative technologies, healthcare, ecology and others

Within the framework of the forum, meetings were held between representatives of ministries, departments, private companies of our country and business circles of America. Thus, the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan and the American company Niklaus Companies signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of a golf club.

At the meeting of the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the same day with the Executive Director of the Turkmen-American Business Council Eric Stewart, the prospects for expanding interstate trade and economic ties were discussed.

On December 5, during the meetings held within the framework of the working trip of the Turkmen delegation on behalf of the President of Turkmenistan to the city of Baku (Republic of Azerbaijan), the parties expressed satisfaction with the successfully developing relations between the two countries, discussed the prospects for further cooperation in various fields, including in trade and economy, energy, transport, cultural and humanitarian spheres.

On December 6, at the 45th plenary meeting of the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, the Resolution “2023 – International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace”, initiated by Turkmenistan, was considered and unanimously adopted. This was another clear evidence of the ever-increasing authority of our neutral state on the world stage, actively building up, under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, a constructive dialogue with interested countries and large organizations, primarily with specialized agencies and structures of the UN.

As part of the trip on December 6-7 of the Turkmen delegation to the Russian Federation to participate in the 12th meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Russian Commission on Economic Cooperation, a meeting was held between the heads of the foreign ministries of the two countries. The dynamic and consistent nature of bilateral cooperation, which is developing on the principles of mutual respect, equality and trust, was emphasized.

The interlocutors noted the importance of inter-parliamentary contacts, discussed the state and prospects of partnership in the foreign policy arena, in particular, in matters of maintaining and strengthening regional and global stability, on the Caspian and Aral Sea issues, and jointly countering new challenges and threats.

As a result of the negotiations, the Program of Cooperation between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation for 2023-2024 was signed.

At the meeting held on December 7 in the Mejlis Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan with the Azerbaijani parliamentary delegation that arrived in Ashgabat on a visit, headed by the Chairwoman of the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan Sahiba Gafarova, they considered the prospects for further development of inter-parliamentary relations both in bilateral and multilateral formats, including within the framework of international structures, the possibility of enhancing the exchange of experience in the field of lawmaking.

On the same day, a meeting was held between the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the Chairwoman of the Milli Majlis of Azerbaijan, during which the strategic nature of Turkmen-Azerbaijani relations in a wide range of areas, in particular, in the trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian fields, was emphasized. The parties paid special attention to expanding the inter-parliamentary dialogue, achieving the global Sustainable Development Goals, youth policy issues, etc.

At the end of the meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan and the Milli Majlis of the Republic of Azerbaijan was signed.

On December 7-9, meetings were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the newly appointed Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of a number of foreign states - the Republic of Sierra Leone, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Finland, the Republic of Estonia, Hungary, the Hellenic Republic, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Republic of Ghana, the Democratic Socialist Republic Sri Lanka, the State of Qatar, and with the Apostolic Nuncio in Turkmenistan.

The diplomats expressed their interest in establishing long-term contacts in areas of mutual interest. A special topic of discussion was the development of inter-parliamentary cooperation, including within the framework of authoritative organizations and structures.

The prospects for expanding inter-parliamentary relations were also discussed at the meetings of the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the Chairman of the Mejlis Milli Gengesh G. Mammedova on December 9 with the Chairman of the France-Central Asia Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group of the Senate of the French Republic Herve Morey, during which the interlocutors confirmed the desire give a new impetus to traditional ties based on the principles of equality and mutual respect.

At the meeting held on the same day at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with E. Morey, issues of further development of trade and economic partnership along the line “Turkmenistan-France”, prospects for cooperation in the field of ecology and museum business were considered.

On December 9, at the meetings of the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan, as well as the head of the Foreign Ministry of our country with the Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council of Russia Konstantin Kosachev, the readiness of Turkmenistan to further promote the development of humanitarian, social, cultural relations, the establishment of women's and youth channels of communication was confirmed.

On the same day, the meetings of the Vice-Chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, who are in charge of the oil and gas sector, construction, electricity, road construction, the chemical industry and the financial and economic complex, with members of the UAE delegation headed by the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technologies Sultan Al Jaber discussed issues of intensifying partnerships in such strategic areas as the fuel and energy complex, the banking system, the processing and industrial sectors, etc.

As noted, the course of comprehensive modernization and diversification of the national economy implemented by Turkmenistan primarily provides for the involvement of digital technologies, advanced developments and innovations in the industry, the introduction of experience in the use of environmentally friendly renewable energy sources, in particular, the sun and wind.

At the First High-Level Ministerial Meeting of the Group of Friends of Neutrality, which unites more than 20 countries, held in Ashgabat on December 10 in a hybrid format, issues of expanding international political dialogue, establishing multilateral cooperation on the practical application of the principles of neutralism in preventing conflicts, eliminating their causes and consequences were considered.

All proposals on the format and working methods of the Group were summarized in the final Declaration of the meeting.

On the same day, the Fifth Central Asian Expert Forum “Actual aspects of regional cooperation on climate change, water use, food security and information and communication technologies in the Central Asian region” was held in Ashgabat.

As the speakers emphasized, the constructive initiatives put forward by Turkmenistan at various high-level forums receive broad support from the international community. In particular, these are proposals to open a Regional Center for Technologies related to climate change in Central Asia in Ashgabat, to develop a UN Water Strategy, a special UN Program for the Aral Sea Basin and to single out the Aral Sea problem as a separate area of UN activity, to preserve the environmental well-being of Caspian Sea, etc.

On December 10, the annual final meeting of the Dialogue of Women of the Central Asian States was held in the Turkmen capital with the participation of representatives of the countries of the region, heads of regional UN structures. At the meeting, the results of the organization’s activities in 2022 were summed up, the prospects for expanding the Dialogue and the Work Plan for 2023 were considered.

At the annual meeting of the Deputy Foreign Ministers of Central Asian countries, held on December 11, organized by the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, marking the 15th anniversary of its formation, issues of strengthening regional partnerships were discussed in order to consolidate efforts to prevent and eliminate threats stability, and sustainable development.

On the same day, the International Conference “Dialogue is a Guarantee of Peace” was held in a hybrid format, organized in accordance with the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country together with UN agencies. The speakers noted the importance of the constructive proposals put forward by the Turkmen state to address topical issues on the global agenda.

Based on the results of the thematic sessions, the Final Document was adopted.

On the sidelines of the conference, representatives of the sectoral departments of our country met with the Special Representative of the European Union for Central Asia, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The parties considered aspects of the development of relations in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres. The energy and transport sectors, trade, climate change issues, environmental protection and environmental security were identified as promising areas of cooperation.

During the talks held on December 11 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States Kubanychbek Omuraliev, issues of further deepening cooperation in various fields between Turkmenistan and the OTS were discussed.

As part of the preparations for the First Trilateral Summit of the Heads of State of Turkmenistan, the Republic of Azerbaijan and Turkiye, negotiations were held on December 13 in the Avaza National Tourist Zone between the heads of energy, transport and foreign affairs departments of friendly countries.

The topics of a thorough discussion were the search for mutually acceptable solutions for a wide range of cooperation between the three fraternal states, their readiness for a mutually beneficial, versatile and effective dialogue in the geopolitical and geo-economic terms, built on a long-term, mutually beneficial basis, as well as for the practical implementation of previously reached agreements and the possibility of implementing new ones. joint projects.

The high level of development of political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian cooperation, including through authoritative international organizations, was noted at the meetings of the Chairman of the Halk Maslakhaty Milli Gengesh of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with the Presidents of Turkiye and the Republic of Azerbaijan on December 14 in Avaza, as well as with the chairman of the Union of Chambers and Exchanges of Turkey.

Within the framework of the First Tripartite Summit, a business forum of representatives of business circles of friendly countries was held at NTZ Avaza, where prospects for mutually beneficial cooperation in various areas of the economy and investment were discussed, in particular, in the fields of industry, energy, construction, agriculture, transport, high technologies, etc., specific plans for joint work have been outlined.

Representatives of the relevant ministries and departments of our country, as well as heads and representatives of the UN structural divisions, held in a hybrid format on December 15 at the Foreign Ministry in Ashgabat.

During the meeting, the main achievements in the implementation of the Program for 2022, the promotion of the issues of its five target groups - the rule of law, the sectors of the economy, ecology, health and education, as well as the preparation of the Roadmap for 2023 were considered.

At the talks held on December 19 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs between the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of Turkmenistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, issues of developing partnerships in the inter-parliamentary, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, the oil and gas and chemical industries, the textile and carpet industries, in the field of civil aviation, etc., were discussed, including within the framework of international organizations.

On the same day, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, delivered a lecture to students of the Institute of International Relations at the Turkmen-Saudi diplomatic symposium dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

The delegation of the friendly country also took part in the opening ceremony of the new building complex of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Turkmenistan.

The main topic of the meeting held on December 19 at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the head of the demographic statistics department of the UN Statistical Office Srdjan Mrkic, who arrived in Ashgabat on a working visit at the head of a delegation of UN experts, was interaction in the framework of conducting a complete population and housing census of Turkmenistan in 2022 and publishing its results in accordance with international norms and principles.

During the working visit of the Turkmen delegation to the city of Tokyo (Japan) on December 21-24 to participate in the 14th joint meeting of the Japanese-Turkmen and Turkmen-Japanese committees on economic cooperation and the 9th meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Dialogue “Central Asia + Japan” held meetings to discuss the development of trade and economic, political, diplomatic, cultural and humanitarian relations, as well as the participation of Japanese companies in the implementation of joint large-scale projects in our country, in particular, in the investment, gas chemical, transport, agricultural industries, and also in the field of digitalization.

Thus, the events of the past month clearly reflected the constructiveness and relevance in the international arena of the creative initiatives of the head of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov, which contribute to the further active integration of the country into the system of world economic relations, its accelerated entry into the ranks of developed countries, as well as mutually beneficial cooperation with all interested parties.