On February 28, 2023, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan R. Meredov participated in the regular meeting of the heads of foreign ministries of the countries of Central Asia and the United States in the «C5 + 1» format in Astana.
The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and the US Secretary of State considered issues of practical cooperation in topical areas of regional development, including the economy, energy, transport, ecology and security.
The participants of the meeting welcomed the consistent increase in the number of regional projects of the Government of the United States of America, including those under the auspices of USAID, aimed at promoting trade, business, transport, logistics and energy ties. Interest was also expressed in expanding cooperation under the Framework Agreement between the United States and the countries of Central Asia on trade and investment (TIFA).
In his speech, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan focused on the need to intensify energy and transport cooperation in the region of Central Asia and the Caspian basin. In the context of the development of energy cooperation, the need was emphasized to diversify energy supplies, enter new consumption markets, create alternative routes, attract investments and technologies in the energy sector, as well as provide appropriate political and legal guarantees for the supply of energy resources to international markets.
Along with this, in the context of expanding regional transport cooperation, the need was noted for building a modern infrastructure for transport corridors, creating transport and logistics hubs, which have great potential.
Regarding migration issues, it was noted that in this direction Turkmenistan actively cooperates with the UNHCR and IOM. Turkmenistan is the first country in Central Asia to accede to the Convention on the Status of Stateless Persons and the Convention on the Reduction of Statelessness. It was emphasized that in recent years, Turkmenistan has granted citizenship to representatives of a dozen nationalities and ethnic groups. At the same time, it was noted that in accordance with the adopted National Program, Turkmenistan plans to eradicate statelessness on its territory by 2024. The Turkmen side proposed a number of specific areas of regional cooperation by enhancing the partnership of the countries of the format through the development of joint plans for interaction with UNHCR and IOM.
In terms of ensuring food security and finding ways to resolve issues to overcome the global food crisis observed throughout the world, the Turkmen side put forward a proposal to hold the International Forum on Food Security in Turkmenistan this year.
One of the key areas on the agenda of the «C5+1» format remains the fight against terrorism and strengthening the security of the borders of the states of the region. In order to support the joint efforts of international organizations and the states of the region, in this context it was proposed to create a mechanism for political consultations on border issues between the countries of Central Asia and the United States, as well as the Program Office of the UN Counter-Terrorism Office for training specialists using modern teaching methods. At the same time, the Turkmen side noted the need to implement in full the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy in Central Asia.
In conclusion, it was emphasized that Turkmenistan remains an active supporter of promoting multifaceted cooperation within the «C5 + 1» framework in all areas of mutual interest without exception. ///MFA Turkmenistan, 1 Mar 2023