On 20 March 2023, negotiations were held in Doha between President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.
The negotiations began with an expanded meeting with the participation of the delegations of the two countries and then continued in a tete-a-tete format.
The composition of the delegation from the Turkmen side:
- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov
- Deputy Prime Minister for the Trade Sector Batyr Atdaev
- Deputy Prime Minister for the Oil and Gas Industry Ashirguly Begliev
- Deputy Prime Minister for Financial, Economic, Banking Sector and International Financial Organizations Khodjamyrat Geldimyradov
- Prosecutor General Serdar Myalikgulyev
- Minister of Education Gurbangul Atayeva
- Minister of Finance and Economy Serdar Joraev
- Minister of Labor and Social Protection Mukhammadseit Silapov
- and other members of the official delegation
Composition of the delegation from the Qatari side:
- Minister of Interior Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
- Chief of the Amiri Diwan Sheikh Saoud bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani
- Minister of Transportation Jassim bin Saif Al Sulaiti
- Minister of Sports and Youth Salah bin Ghanem Al Ali
- Minister of Municipality Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz bin Turki Al Subaie
- Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad bin Sherida Al Kaabi
- Minister of Commerce and Industry Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Qasim Al-Thani,
- Minister of Education and Higher Education Buthaina bint Ali Al Jabr Al Nuaim
- Minister of Labour HE Dr. Ali bin Saeed bin Samikh Al Marri.
During the extended talks, the heads of state expressed their opinion on the current state of bilateral cooperation, future opportunities, important issues on the regional and international agenda of mutual interest.
The talks were devoted to discussing bilateral relations and ways to boost them in all areas, especially in education, economy, investment, trade, energy, sports and social issues.
The meeting discussed the importance of strengthening the legal framework of bilateral relations, the development of parliamentary cooperation, and the continuation of the practice of supporting each other’s initiatives in the regional and international arenas.
In the field of foreign policy, both countries actively cooperate within the framework of such international organizations as the United Nations, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Non-Aligned Movement.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to the Qatari side for co-authoring Resolutions adopted by the UN on the initiative of Turkmenistan on such important issues as positive neutrality, preventive diplomacy, cooperation in the field of sustainable transport and sports.
The potential in the fuel and energy complex of the two countries, their advantageous location at the intersection of trade and transport routes open ample opportunities for further expansion of the Turkmen-Qatari partnership. The special emphasis was placed on the role of the joint Intergovernmental Turkmen-Qatari Commission on economic cooperation, the next meeting of which will be held in the near future in Ashgabat.
The head of state noted the existing prospects for deepening contacts in such areas as investment, oil and gas, the creation of joint high-tech and environmentally friendly industries in these sectors. Stressing the need to expand investment cooperation in the oil and gas sector, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov invited Qatari partners to actively participate in the implementation of international projects in the fuel and energy sector and other areas.
Having identified the textile industry among the main vectors of interaction, the head of Turkmenistan confirmed his readiness to consider the proposals of the leading companies of Qatar in this area.
In this context, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani noted the importance of a detailed discussion on the establishment of the Turkmen-Qatari Council of Businessmen.
Touching upon the humanitarian direction of cooperation, Turkmenistan expressed interest in establishing close contacts with the Foundation for Education, Science and Social Development of the State of Qatar. In this regard, it was proposed to cooperate in such areas as scientific and practical research, best practices in the field of high technologies, internships and exchange visits.
Prospects for cooperation in the field of sports were also discussed. President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed that Qatar has a specialized Academy, and Turkmenistan has an Olympic town with all conditions for sports. As part of the exchange of views on this issue, a number of specific proposals were voiced. In particular, we are talking about the organization of International Youth Sports Games, the head of Turkmenistan said.
During the bilateral talks, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Amir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani considered ways to implement bilateral agreements that will contribute to enriching the content of the Turkmen-Qatari dialogue.
The sides concretized approaches to the implementation of effective cooperation in various spheres. As noted, the agenda of the interstate dialogue pays special attention to increasing cooperation in the economic, trade, investment and financial and banking sectors. Great prospects are opening up for deepening contacts in the fuel and energy, transport and logistics complexes, as well as for tapping the import-export potential.
At the end of the summit talks, the signing ceremony of bilateral documents took place.
- Memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of disaster management between the governments of the two countries,
- Memorandum of understanding for cooperation between the Public Prosecution Office of the State of Qatar and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Turkmenistan,
- Memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the field of youth between the governments of Qatar and Turkmenistan,
- Program for cooperation in the field of sports between the Ministry of Sports and Youth in the State of Qatar and the State Committee for Physical Culture and Sports in Turkmenistan for the two years (2023-2024).
- Agreement to encourage and protect mutual investments between the governments of the two countries
- Memorandum of understanding regarding cooperation between the Ministry of Labour in the State of Qatar and the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Population in Turkmenistan,
- Agreement on exemption from visa requirements for holders of diplomatic and private passports service between the two governments.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov highly appreciated the strong relations between Turkmenistan and the State of Qatar, noting that over the past few years the relations between the two countries have developed significantly and that there are all conditions for further development corresponding to the enormous potential that both countries possess.
The head of Turkmenistan spoke at a meeting held on Monday at the Sheraton Hotel with members of the Qatar Chamber (QC) and the Qatar Businessmen Association (QBA), the Qatar News Agency QNA reports. The meeting brought together representatives of the major holdings such as Delta Group, Turnkey Trading and Contracting, Shaheen Al Mohannadi Group, Bin Twar Group.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said that the State of Qatar is a trusted partner to Turkmenistan, noting that this large gathering of Qatari businessmen assured their interest to enhance cooperation with their Turkmenistan counterparts.
“There are many investment opportunities in Turkmenistan in many sectors, including energy, renewable energy, urban development, industry and agriculture,” he continued.
The Turkmenistan President called on Qatari businessmen to invest in his country, stressing that there are ample investment opportunities in the construction of oil and gas pipelines, transport networks and textile industries.
Our country believes that favorable prospects are emerging for the involvement of the Qatar Businessmen Association in the implementation of projects of international pipelines, one of which is the construction of the Turkmenistan–Afghanistan–Pakistan–India gas pipeline, the head of state said.
In recent years, as it was emphasized, large-scale construction of new road, air, rail transport centers and corridors has been underway in Turkmenistan. In this regard, readiness was expressed to invite Qatari partners to the projects in the transport and infrastructure sector.
At the same time, it was stated that in 2018, the construction of a new seaport of Turkmenbashi was completed on the Caspian coast, which is currently a powerful, multi-profile seaport. Turkmenbashi International Seaport, equipped with advanced technical means, is one of the major transport centers of international importance in such directions as East–West and North–South, designed to establish communications with the markets of the Near and Middle East region, India, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov continued.
He also pointed out that Qatar has an extended expertise in the financial system, insurance and stock exchanges, stressing the importance of developing long-term partnerships between Turkmen and Qatari businessmen, and that his country is ready to provide the appropriate legislative conditions to achieve this target.
He proposed to set a Qatari-Turkmen joint businessmen council, affirming the important role of the Turkmen-Qatari Commission which was founded in 2011.
“The Commission will convene in Turkmenistan this year and will play an essential role in enhancing cooperation between both countries’ businessmen,” he added, noting that they have to look at the opportunities available to increase the volume of trade exchange between the two countries through the joint implementation of projects, especially in the areas of oil and gas in the Caspian Sea, and building petrochemical production plants.
For his part, First Vice-Chairman of the Qatar Chamber Mohamed bin Twar Al Kuwari said that Qatar and Turkmenistan maintain close relations, as evidenced by mutual visits at the level of leadership, officials and representatives of the private sector, as well as agreements signed between the two countries in various sectors.
Despite these close relations and the tremendous potential both countries own and their attractive investment climate, their trade exchange is still below expectations.
According to him, the private sector on both sides can play a special role in the development of relations between the two countries by establishing new partnerships and commercial alliances between Qatari companies and their counterparts from Turkmenistan.
Al Kuwari called on Turkmen companies to invest in Qatar, which offers advanced infrastructure and leading economic legislation, especially with the presence of logistic and free zones which provide a host of incentives for foreign investors at various sectors.
The First Deputy Chairman of the Chamber of Qatar assured of interest to encourage Qatari businessmen to invest in Turkmenistan, noting that it is an attractive destination for investments.
On his part, QBA’s Board Member Sheikh Nawaf bin Nasser Al-Thani said that Qatar and Turkmenistan signed 17 agreements and MoUs to strengthen cooperation in economic, commercial, cultural and sports fields. He pointed out that the QBA is interested to learning about the investment opportunities available in Turkmenistan and the incentives offered by the government so that a joint committee can be formed to study investment projects in the two countries.
In the afternoon, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov visited the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Social Development, where he held a meeting with the heads of the Foundation.
The Education Foundation was founded in 1995 by decree of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
Under the auspices of the Qatar Foundation, more than 50 educational and research institutions have been established, and it is a multidisciplinary innovation center in Qatar, which conducted research work on solving local and global problems.
Research and community centers and branches of well-known international higher education institutions have been opened in Education City with an area of more than 12 square kilometers.
The key objective of the Qatar Foundation is to support an innovative and open society that strives for the development of sustainable human potential, social and economic prosperity of a country with a knowledge-based economy.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov left an entry in the Book of Honored Guests.
Then the head of Turkmenistan visited the Qatar National Museum, which opened in 2019.
The museum has only 11 galleries, and the exhibitions are divided into three parts: “The Beginning”, “Life in Qatar” and “Modern History of Qatar”. They museum displays traditional clothes, utensils and folk medicine, stone products and jewelry, models of ancient ships, samples of various types of weapons and archaeological finds, as well as works of Qatari art.
In the first gallery, exhibits related to the nature, flora and fauna were presented to the head of Turkmenistan. Then, through digital technologies, one of the galleries demonstrated the development of Qatar today, the daily life of the people, significant events in the modern history of the state. A special section tells about the members of the Amir’s family.
After touring the museum, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov left an entry in the Book of Honored Guests.
As part of the visit of the Head of Turkmenistan in Doha, the opening ceremony of the Embassy of Turkmenistan in the State of Qatar was held. The opening of a new diplomatic mission will contribute to the further development of bilateral relations, will encourage effective and long-term cooperation.
Cutting the ribbon to announce the opening of the embassy were Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov and Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Dr. Ahmed bin Hassan Al Hammadi.
In December 2014, a diplomatic mission of Qatar was opened in Ashgabat. The inauguration of Turkmenistan’s diplomatic mission in Qatar is also a symbol of the long-term nature of Turkmen-Qatari relations.
The issue of opening a diplomatic representation of Turkmenistan in this Middle Eastern country was discussed during the meeting of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov with Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on 3 December 2022 in Doha. A few days later, on 9 December, the head of Turkmenistan signed a decree on the opening of the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Qatar.
Diplomatic relations between Turkmenistan and Qatar were established in November 1996. In recent years, five high-level visits have been organized between the two countries, during which fruitful negotiations took place, including on promising areas of bilateral cooperation.
The same day (20 Mar) President Serdar Berdimuhamedov returned to Ashgabat.
///nCa, 21 March 2023 [photo credit – QNA]