The international conference at Awaza served to launch the Lapis Lazuli Corridor in three important ways: 1. Consolidation of will of the participants and interested parties; 2. Highlighting of areas where more attention would be required for the implementation; and 3. Making available the essential elements of the Corridor for public knowledge.
In later parts of this report we will produce, in whole or in part, some of the speeches delivered at the conference.
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On 29 November (Thursday) the DPM (deputy prime minister) and foreign minister of Turkmenistan, Rashid Meredov, conducted a briefing for the diplomats and the media. The speakers at the briefing gave valuable input.
The transport minister of Turkmenistan, Orazgeldy Sukhanov said that we will welcome other countries into the framework of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor.
Adding to his remarks, DPM Meredov said that we will be pragmatic in the implementation of this initiative.
Umberto De Pretto, Secretary General of International Road Transport Union (IRU) said that the Lapis Lazuli Corridoris the shortest route between China and Europe. He said that ideally the cargo should go through the borders without stopping. He said that the Corridor would be an example to emulate for other such initiatives. It will succeed because there is the will to succeed, he said.
Ms. Natalia Gherman, Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Central Asia, Head of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA) said that the corridor will support peace and stability in the wide geo-economic region. She that it fit harmoniously with the other infrastructure projects such as CASA 1000 and TAPI.
Victor Guminsky, First Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee – the Executive Secretary of the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States) said that Turkmenistan is the chair of CIS for 2019 and transportation and logistics would be among the priority areas during the chairmanship of Turkmenistan. He said that there is the consensus that the connectivity and corridor initiatives are important not just for Turkmenistan but the entire region. The part played by Turkmenistan in these areas is impressive, said Guminsky.
Guminsky pointed out that the contents of the Final Declaration require persistence, investments and lots of other things for their implementation. He said that we have chosen this and we will work for it.
Ms. Natalia Drozd, Head of OSCE Center in Ashgabat said that standardization and simplification of procedures would ensure the success of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor. She said that Turkmenistan is investing massively in the infrastructure projects and playing an active role in the organization of high level conferences. She said that the recent chairmanships of the OSCE have the economic activity to the priority position. She added that in 2019 focus will remain on security, transportation and economy. /// nCa, 30 November 2018
To be continued . . .