THE THIRD MEETING OF THE HEADS OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS AGENCIES OF THE CENTRAL ASIAN STATES AND THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION WAS HELD

Today, on October 15, 2020, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov took part in the third meeting of Foreign Ministers in the “Central Asia + Russia” format.

The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan M. Tleuberdi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic R. Kazakbayev, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation S. Lavrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan S. Mukhriddin, and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan A. Kamilov.

During the meeting, the Ministers noted the high level of interstate dialogue between the countries of Central Asia and the Russian Federation, which are linked by bonds of friendship, solidarity, and mutual respect. The parties discussed a number of topical issues of cooperation in the political and diplomatic lines, as well as in the trade-economic, and cultural-humanitarian fields.

Particular attention was paid to the issues of response to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the exchange of views on the creation of anti-crisis plans and programs on overcoming the socio-economic consequences on the countries of the region.

Speaking at the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov announced the measures taken in the country to counter the pandemic threat and stressed the importance of strengthening regional and international cooperation in this direction. “According to the initiatives voiced by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov during his video address to the participants of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly, it is necessary to use the mechanisms of scientific diplomacy and consolidate the efforts of the relevant state departments, primarily through the ministries of health and sanitary and epidemiological services,” the Minister said.

The parties discussed in detail the current situation and prospects of interaction in the field of regional security, taking into account the development of the situation in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. In this regard, it was noted that Turkmenistan stands for stabilizing the situation in this country, creating conditions for achieving national agreement through peaceful dialogue, and providing the people of Afghanistan with economic and humanitarian assistance. The parties exchanged views on expanding the range of cooperation to counter common threats and challenges. In this context, the need to expand partnership within the framework of regional and international structures, taking into account universally recognized norms and principles, was noted.

The Ministers considered the possibilities of expanding a fair and mutually beneficial partnership in the Eurasian space, including the development of trade and economic ties and investment cooperation. Prospects for the implementation of key initiatives of the Central Asian states, the Russian Federation, and the Asian-Pacific region’s countries in the transit and logistics sphere were discussed, which is expected to strengthen trade and economic relations, ensure favorable tariff conditions, and increase competitiveness in the post-pandemic period.

The parties also discussed the possibilities of expanding cooperation in the cultural-humanitarian sphere. They noted the acceptability of developing ties in the field of education, science, and culture. In this context, the parties stressed the importance of the "Soul of Eurasia" initiative aimed at developing cultural dialogue between the countries.

In conclusion, noting the commitment to interaction in this format, the Ministers adopted the Statement on the strategic directions of cooperation.