Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, July 24 / Trend , G.Hasanov/
The U.S. administration and the Government of Turkmenistan agreed to create a new bilateral forum or commission, so that they can meet regularly and systematically on the whole range of issues, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns told journalists in Ashgabat.
He said this can make progress in economic cooperation, in energy cooperation, and working together against the spread of narcotics and terrorism, in contribution to stability in Afghanistan and across the region, and also in creating a systematic dialogue about issues related to civil society, education, cultural exchanges and human rights.
In Ashgabat, Burns was accompanied with representatives of the Department of State, Presidential Administration, Defense Ministry and special envoy on energy. "The presence of our delegation over these last two days is an opportunity to build on that visit to Washington and it's also a reflection of the high priority that President Obama attaches to our relationship," Burns said.
The U.S. Department of State senior official said they certainly welcome the Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov's expression of interest in the Nabucco Project.
"It seems to us to be very much in Turkmenistan's interest to look at diverse routes and to diversify its energy policies. Certainly American companies, in our view, have a lot to offer in terms of helping Turkmenistan develop its energy resources; not only in extraction, but in downstream processing. So we think this is an area of considerable potential," he said.
He said they talked with the Turkmen leadership about a range of other areas concerning stability in Afghanistan. "We welcome the contributions that Turkmenistan is making and I use the example of electricity," he said.
An important dimension of our visit was also the opportunity to meet earlier today with the group of civil society leaders in Turkmenistan, Burns said. "President Obama has made clear that in our relationships around the world we want to focus on improving relations between governments, but also strengthen ties between societies and between peoples," he said.
Burns said the White House, as a reflection of the significance they attach to further growth in relationship with Turkmenistan, is going to move very soon to announce a new permanent ambassador.
"It's time to move ahead on that issue," he added.