Work Being Carried Out to Organize Joint Visits at High Level between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan: Deputy Minister
Azerbaijan, Baku /corr. Trend E.Huseynov /Work is being carried out to organize joint visits at a high level to develop relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Khalaf Khalafov, said on 4 July that the activity of the newly created Inter-Governmental Commission for Economic and Humanitarian Cooperation will also serve in strengthening bilateral relations. Relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan were not good during the power of the former Turkmen President, Safarmurad Niyazov, who died at the end of 2006. In addition, the two Muslim countries have not reached an agreement on the status of Caspian Sea yet, have disputes over Kapaz field, as well as differences regarding the amount of debt owed for Turkmen gas supplied to Azerbaijan at the beginning of 1990. Despite activity of the Azerbaijani Embassy to Turkmenistan, contacts between the two countries have been limited over the past six to seven years. After the new President of Turkmenistan, Gurbangulu Berdimuhammad, came to power relations between the two countries warmed up.
Khalafov, who is a member of the Commission holding talks on the status of the Caspian Sea, said that visits have already taken place between the Foreign Ministries of the two countries, specially the Foreign Minister made an official visit to Ashgabat. Work is being carried out to organize visits at a high level, he added.
Touching upon the Azerbaijani President's June decree approving the composition of the Azerbaijani part of the joint commission, Khalafov said that the date of the meeting had not been confirmed yet, but will be agreed through diplomatic channels.
"The commission has been established to discuss all aspects of commercial and economic and humanitarian cooperation. In addition, we will discuss issues of realizing concrete projects," Khalafov added.
The establishment of the commission was initiated by the Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, during his visit to Ashgabat in May. Later the issue was discussed and approved by the presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. The Azerbaijani part of the commission is headed by the Deputy Prime Minister, Yagub Eyyubov.