Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan Ready for Increased Cooperation
May 11. MFA
Development of bilateral relations in areas of mutual interest such as fuel and energy sector as well as transit of energy resources turned into the main themes of the Kazakh Foreign Minister Yerzhan Kazykhanov’s visit to Turkmenistan on May 10. During the visit, Minister Kazykhanov held meetings with Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Deputy Prime Minister – Foreign Minister Rasit Meredow.
Speaking to President Berdimuhamedow, Minister Kazykhanov conveyed a message from Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev, in which the head of state endorsed the current economic achievements of Turkmenistan. Kazykhanov also extended President Nazarbayev’s invitation for Turkmen President to pay an official visit to Astana.
“We have a great interest in expanding contacts in the energy sector. Our countries are both extracting mineral resources, we have similar positions on transportation and delivery of energy resources to foreign markets and we can work closely in this area,” Minister Kazykhanov told the reporters after the meeting.
During the meeting, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow highlighted that the common age-old history is crucial in the relationship between the two countries. “We are brother nations. We share a common age-old story. This is the basis of our good-neighbourly relations and enhanced cooperation,” he said.
Minister Kazykhanov spoke about the social and economic development of Kazakhstan and its foreign policy priorities. The two sides discussed the current state and prospects of the Kazakh-Turkmen relations in political, trade, economic, cultural, and humanitarian spheres. They also noted with satisfaction the progressive implementation of major joint projects in transport and energy sectors, as well as praised the achievements in the bilateral cooperation during the past 20 years of diplomatic relations.
Projects on construction of the Uzen-Gorgan railway and the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline are among the major joint initiatives between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, Kazykhanov noted. According to Berdimuhamedow, the implementation of such international projects brings cooperation between the two countries to a new level.
The sides noted that at present the construction of both Kazakh and Turkmen sections of the Uzen-Gorgan railway is almost completed. The new railroad will provide Kazakhstan a shortest access to the Middle East for exporting products such as oil and oil products, metals and wheat.
Given the current chairmanship of Turkmenistan in the Commonwealth of Independent States, prospects for integration processes and economic cooperation within the CSI were also discussed.
In view of the ministerial conference of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on “Refugees in the Muslim World,” which was held in Ashgabat on May 10, Kazykhanov informed the President of Turkmenistan on the priorities of Kazakhstan’s chairmanship in the OIC Foreign Ministers Council. The international conference convened representatives of more than 60 countries.
During the visit, Yerzhan Kazykhanov also met with his Turkmen counterpart, Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Foreign Affairs Rasit Meredow. The foreign ministers discussed issues of regional and international security, as well as priorities in cooperation on transit, energy, and the Caspian Sea. The two countries have similar positions on determining the status of the Caspian Sea, they noted.
The ministers highlighted the positive outcome of ministerial political consultations held in Ashgabat in March 2012. They noted the ongoing development of the demarcation of the Kazakh-Turkmen border. In addition, they identified a number of priority areas for regional and international cooperation between the two countries.
“We consider your visit as a step to further development of relations between our countries,” Meredow said during the meeting.
Kazykhanov, in his turn, noted that the sides will make every effort to strengthen stability and security in the Caspian Sea region and Central Asia. “We will make every effort to improve bilateral relations” Kazykhanov said.
The two sides highlighted that the positions of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on many international issues are similar. According to both ministers, the mutual trade volume of U.S. $ 183 million achieved in the last year does not meet the potential of the two countries.
Diplomatic relations between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan were established on October 5, 1992.