On January 16, the capital hosted an information briefing on the newly inaugurated infrastructure facilities: the Kerki (Turkmenistan) Shibergan (Afghanistan) power line, a 30-kilometer-long section of the Aquina-Andkhoy railway, and the international Imamnazar (Turkmenistan) Aquina (Afghanistan) and Serkhetabat (Turkmenistan) Turgundi (Afghanistan) fiber-optic communication lines.
Among those attending the event were senior officials of ministries, heads and representatives of diplomatic missions and international organizations working in Turkmenistan, rectors of higher education institutions, national media representatives and foreign media representatives accredited to Turkmenistan. Ambassadors of Turkmenistan to foreign countries and 30-plus foreign mass media representatives from 15 countries also joined the briefing via videoconferencing.
Speaking at the briefing, the Foreign Minister of Turkmenistan noted that these facilities are real steps towards promoting the successive integration of Afghanistan into regional and international economic processes and continental transport-logistics systems.
The head of the Foreign Ministry highlighted in his speech that the implementation of infrastructure projects in Turkmenistan and Afghanistan has geo-economic and geopolitical importance and goes far beyond the regional scope.
In fact, it means the creation in both countries of a new transport and communication belt and a power supply network at a continental level, connecting Central Asia and Southern Asia with Europe and the Middle East.
This, in turn, is the practical implementation of international initiatives proposed by Turkmenistan from the UN platform, which seek to promote sustainable development in the transport and energy sectors.
In this context, particular emphasis was placed on the importance of cooperation with international organizations, including the United Nations, its specialized agencies, and the EU.The Foreign Minister also drew attention to the commonality of multilateral interests and the desire of partners to diversify transport and energy networks.
This creates the necessary prerequisites for joining the above-said projects initiated by a number of integration organizations such as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Commonwealth of Independent States.
In this regard, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan stressed, the bilateral Turkmen-Afghan infrastructure projects should be viewed as part of more massive plans designed to create a vast geo-economic space that unites the region’s states, neighboring and other countries and aims to build an integrated system of cooperation in Eurasia at a continental level.
The Foreign Minister affirmed our country’s commitment to providing comprehensive political-diplomatic and economic assistance to Afghanistan as part of the long-term state strategy of cooperation of Turkmenistan with the country.
Speakers at the briefing included the Minister of Energy of Turkmenistan, Counselor of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in Turkmenistan Ahmad Tariq Noorzadeh, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Central Asia and Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia Natalia Gherman, Head of the OSCE Center in Ashgabat Natalya Drozd, and Country Director of the Permanent Mission of the Asian Development Bank in Turkmenistan Chang Ching Yu.
Those speaking at the briefing emphasized that the implemented initiatives by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov help to boost energy exports, expand their geographical scope, and increase the region’s transport and transit potential.
Following the briefing, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan answered questions from representatives of foreign news agencies, particularly News Central Asia (Pakistan), TRT (Turkey) and Agence France-Presse (France), teaching staff of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, the International University for the Humanities and Development, and national media representatives.