Uzbek, Turkmen presidents mull situation in Afghanistan

Uzbek, Turkmen presidents mull situation in Afghanistan

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 9

By Elena Kosolapova - Trend:

Presidents of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met in Tashkent to discuss the current state and prospects of further development of the two countries' cooperation.

Earlier, Berdimuhamedov arrived in Uzbekistan for an official visit.

During the meeting, the presidents exchanged views on pressing regional and international issues, said the Uzbek president's press service Oct. 9.

While discussing the situation in Afghanistan, they reiterated the impossibility of establishing peace in that country through the use of military force.

The presidents also discussed cooperation in the fight against threats such as terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.

The parties also discussed the use of water of transboundary rivers.

During the meeting, it was stressed that issues related to water and energy sector should be reviewed on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law, taking into account the interests of all states in the region and with participation of international organizations.

It was noted that in dealing with the construction of large hydropower plants on transboundary rivers, it is necessary to fully comply with the relevant UN conventions.

During the talks, the sides also discussed the issues related to raising the volume of trade turnover, increasing the number of joint enterprises and developing the cooperation between the businessmen.

Following the negotiations, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhammadov signed a joint declaration. Moreover, the governments, ministries and other structures of the two countries signed documents on further developing the relations in the spheres of economy, transport, customs, tourism, science and technologies, health care and sports.

The volume of trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan is growing consistently - it has tripled over the last six years. The volume of trade turnover between the two countries stood at $413 million as of 2014 and $245 million in Jan.-Aug. 2015.

Uzbekistan exports vehicles, fertilizers, agricultural products, construction materials, electrical and mechanical equipment, metal products and services in various fields to Turkmenistan.
This is while Turkmenistan exports petroleum products, polymers of propylene and other chemical products to Uzbekistan.

The economic potential of the two countries creates opportunities for further expanding the cooperation.

According to the intergovernmental agreement on mutual deliveries and the treaty on economic cooperation for 2013-2017 signed in 2012, consistent work to further diversify and increase trade volumes is carried out.

Transport communications are another priority area of cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. Roads and railways of the two countries are a well-integrated system and profitable transit complex for other countries as well. In this sense, an agreement to build a new Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman international transport corridor signed in 2011 has geostrategic importance.

Both Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are rich in hydrocarbon resources. Their export requires coordinated action. Close cooperation creates opportunities for diversification of energy industries and access to world markets for the two countries. Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline, which was commissioned in 2009 and increases its capacity, is a vivid example of this fact.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @E_Kosolapova

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