On 10 May, 2023, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov started his state visit to Tajikistan. Following the summit talks, the Presidents of Turkmenistan and Tajikistan signed a Declaration on deepening strategic partnership. 23 documents were inked by two delegations that significantly expand the range of friendly Turkmen-Tajik relations.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov and Emomali Rahmon had tet-a-tet meeting before the talks continued with the participation of the delegations of the two countries.
During the talks, the Presidents of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan discussed a wide range of interstate relations between the two countries, exchanged views on topical issues of the international and regional agenda.
At the beginning of the talks, Emomali Rahmon noted the importance of regular political contacts at the high and highest levels and their key role in the consistent promotion of Tajik-Turkmen bilateral relations.
At the same time, confidence was expressed that the state visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Tajikistan will give a new impetus to the development of the entire complex of cooperation between the two countries.
As the head of Turkmenistan noted, it is deeply symbolic that his state visit to Tajikistan takes place in the year of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. All these years, the two states have been consistently building and strengthening the foundations of a partnership that is dynamically developing in political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other spheres. As a result of joint efforts, significant successes have been achieved. This is also evident in close cooperation in the international arena, where Turkmenistan and Tajikistan provide mutual support to each other.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov invited President Emomali Rahmon to visit Turkmenistan at a convenient time for him. This invitation was gratefully accepted. The dates of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.
During the talks with the participation of official delegations, the sides exchanged views on the development of cooperation between the two countries in political, trade, economic, cultural, humanitarian and other fields.
Such areas as industrial cooperation, the energy sector, the agro-industrial complex, the transport and communication, the construction and chemical industry, the food industry, and the pharmaceutical industry were touched upon.
In the field of industrial cooperation, great opportunities were noted for the implementation of joint projects in light industry, in the production of building materials and metallurgy, and mutual supply of raw materials.
“Tajikistan is serious about Turkmenistan becoming one of its leading foreign economic partners,” Emomali Rahmon said.
The President of Turkmenistan offered to provide state assistance in attracting Turkmen and Tajik companies to participate in joint investment projects implemented in the territories of the two countries. In particular, the head of Turkmenistan spoke about the expediency of considering in detail the possibilities of cooperation in the textile industry.
In this context, President Emomali Rahmon announced a proposal to appoint co-chairs of the joint Intergovernmental and hold its next meeting in August this year in Dushanbe. It was also noted the need to take measures for the optimal implementation of the corresponding “Roadmap” to increase trade turnover and adopt a new document for the next period by the end of the year.
Regarding the transport sector, the Tajik side noted the importance of Turkmenistan’s transit potential for cargo transportation carried out by Tajik state and commercial companies.
President Berdimuhamedov stressed that Turkmenistan is ready to work together on a transport corridor that would connect the two countries with access to the Caspian Sea.
As he noted, the landlocked countries of the Central Asian region need to maximize the possibilities of the port infrastructure of the eastern Caspian Sea to enter world markets. Turkmenistan is ready to discuss the use of the capacities of the Turkmenbashi International Seaport in the interests of Tajikistan on favorable terms. It is also proposed to consider the possibility of resuming direct and transit air traffic between two countries.
In the foreign policy sector, the parties noted active cooperation on international platforms, including the UN, OIC, CIS, OSCE, ECO. President Serdar Berdimuhamedov stressed the effectiveness of the Turkmen-Tajik cooperation in the political and diplomatic sphere, which is primarily due to the similarity approaches of the parties to the consideration of topical issues of the regional and global agenda.
“Our countries share common positions on such key issues as preserving and maintaining universal peace and stability, countering modern threats, and implementing Sustainable Development Goals,” he said.
Rahmon expressed gratitude to Turkmenistan for the active support of Tajikistan’s global initiatives on water and climate.
In turn, Tajikistan supports the neutral course of Turkmenistan and its initiatives within the framework of international organizations. Thus, Tajikistan co-sponsored twenty resolutions of the UN General Assembly initiated by the Turkmen side, and also actively participates in the promotion of ideas and initiatives proposed by Turkmenistan at the UN.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov also noted that today the Turkmen-Tajik cooperation is a key component in the context of maintaining the stability and effectiveness of processes in Central Asia. Both countries stand for the creation of strong mechanisms to ensure the peaceful and stable development of the region, the prevention of conflict situations, the resolution of all existing issues through political and diplomatic measures, the strengthening of good neighborliness, respect and consideration of mutual interests, based on universally recognized norms of international law and the UN Charter.
In this context, the effectiveness of the Consultative Meetings of the heads of Central Asian States, the anniversary summit of which will be held in September in Dushanbe, was particularly noted.
Interaction on environmental and environmental issues is of particular relevance in the context of cooperation between Turkmenistan and Tajikistan both at the bilateral level and in the international arena. In this regard, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov spoke about the need to intensify joint work on countering the negative effects of climate change, careful and rational use of water resources in the Central Asian region, and addressing issues of the Aral Sea.
In this regard, great hopes are pinned on the Summit of the heads of the founding states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, which will also be held in mid-September this year in the capital of Tajikistan.
One of the priority areas of Turkmen-Tajik relations is also the humanitarian sphere. In this context, it is proposed to organize Cultural Days of the two countries in 2023-2024.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proposed to intensify direct ties between the leading scientific centers of the two countries through joint cooperation programs in natural sciences, healthcare, technical and humanities.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and President Emomali Rahmon attended the groundbreaking ceremony of the Makhtumkuli Secondary School in the Dusti district of the Khatlon region of Tajikistan through a videoconference.
“This school will be built by the Turkmen side and will become a bright symbol of friendship of our fraternal peoples,” Rahmon said.
The Makhtumkuli school, which will be built in the farmers’ association of Ergash Sultanov, is designed for 540 places. 1,080 children will have classes in two shifts at the school.
Following the summit talks, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov and President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon signed a Declaration on deepening the strategic partnership between the Republic of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.
In addition, 23 more documents have been signed:
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of Turkmenistan on cooperation in the field of healthcare;
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of Turkmenistan on cooperation in the field of international cybersecurity;
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of Turkmenistan on cooperation in the field of technical protection of information;
- Protocol between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan on mutual cooperation within the framework of international organizations;
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of Turkmenistan on cooperation in the field of plant quarantine;
- Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Government of Turkmenistan on cooperation in the field of veterinary medicine;
- “Roadmap” for expanding cooperation in the field of agriculture between the Ministry of Agriculture of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Agriculture and Environmental Protection of Turkmenistan for 2023-2025;
- Memorandum between the Financial Monitoring Department under the National Bank of Tajikistan and the Financial Monitoring Service under the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan on cooperation in countering the legalization (laundering) of proceeds from crime, the financing of terrorism and the financing of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction;
- Memorandum between the National Bank of Tajikistan and the Central Bank of Turkmenistan;
- Agreement between the Customs Service under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan on the organization of the exchange of preliminary information on goods and vehicles transported across the customs border;
- Agreement between the Executive Body of the State Authority of the Khatlon region of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Governorate of the Mary province of Turkmenistan;
- Agreement between the Executive Body of the State Authority of the Sughd region of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Governorate of the Balkan province of Turkmenistan on cooperation in trade, economic, scientific, technical, cultural and humanitarian areas;
- The program of joint activities (“Roadmap”) to expand further cooperation in the field of increasing cargo flow and activating multimodal transport between the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Agency for Transport and Communications under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan for 2023-2025;
- Memorandum between the Ministry of Industry and New Technologies of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Industry and Construction Production of Turkmenistan;
- Memorandum on Trade cooperation between the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Relations of Turkmenistan;
- Memorandum between the Ministry of Labor, Migration and Employment of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Ministry of Labor and Social Protection of the Population of Turkmenistan on cooperation in the field of labor and employment;
- Memorandum between the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Agency “Turkmenautoulaglary” [Turkmen Motor Transport] of the Agency for Transport and Communications under the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan on the development of international transport;
- Memorandum of cooperation between the Agency for Statistics under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the State Statistics Committee of Turkmenistan;
- Memorandum between the State Supervision Service for the Safety of Work in Industry and Mining Industry under the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Main State Service “Turkmen standards “;
- Memorandum between the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Scientific Center for Strategic Studies of the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan;
- Memorandum of Cooperation between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Tajikistan and the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan;
- Memorandum between the National Information Agency of Tajikistan “Khovar” and the State Information Agency of Turkmenistan “TDH”;
- Memorandum of mutual cooperation between the Federation of Independent Trade Unions of the Republic of Tajikistan and the National Center of Trade Unions of Turkmenistan.
After the signing ceremony, the heads of state made remarks at the press conference. In the statements, the presidents outlined the main points and the results of the summit talks.
The key points from Emomali Rahmon’s statement:
The signing of the Declaration on Deepening Strategic Partnership is a historic decision that meets the fundamental interests of two peoples and is one of the important factors for the development and stability of the region.
During the negotiations, special attention was paid to industrial cooperation. Today, a roadmap has been adopted to strengthen cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period up to 2025.
Turkmenistan and Tajikistan will increase the cargo transportation by road and rail. To this end, a Joint action program (or “Roadmap”) has been adopted to further increase cargo traffic and activate multimodal transportation.
The sides discussed regional security issues. They agreed to intensify cooperation through special services. They exchanged views on the situation in Afghanistan.It was stressed that Turkmenistan and Tajikistan are interested in establishing long-term peace and stability in this country.
Emomali Rahmon invited Serdar Berdimuhamedov to take part in the summits of the Consultative Meeting of the Heads of Central Asian States and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea in Dushanbe this September.
The key points from Serdar Berdimuhamedov’s statement:
Turkmenistan and Tajikistan share the belief that all international issues should be resolved peacefully and via diplomatic means, in accordance with the norms of international law and the UN Charter.
The parties advocate the creation of strong and effective mechanisms that would ensure peace and security in Central Asia, strengthen good-neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between the States of the region, its effective integration into world economic relations.
An agreement was also reached to continue coordinating the efforts of the parties on such an important area of the global agenda as sustainable development and its components – the development of international transport and transit communications, ecology and environmental protection.
Both states will coordinate efforts to form a strategic hub for transport, transit and logistics cooperation along the East-West line, work with potential partners on regional and global platforms, in specialized international organizations, financial institutions.
Environmental issues took a special place at the talks, in particular, further strengthening and improving the activities of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea was stressed.
The parties agreed to consider in detail measures to expand and diversify mutual trade, activate investment policy to enter into joint projects in industrial cooperation, service sector, agriculture.
In this context, great importance is attached to building up partnership between business communities.
During the meeting, the importance of maintaining high-level bilateral contacts in the cultural and humanitarian sphere was confirmed. Noting the mutual interest in the rich cultural heritage of the two countries, it was proposed to organize Cultural Days in 2023-2024.
Cooperation between Turkmenistan and Tajikistan will develop in all directions. This meets the long-term interests of the two countries and peoples.
During the visit, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov held separate meetings with Chairman of the Majlisi Milli Majlisi Oli (upper house of Parliament), Mayor of Dushanbe Rustam Emomali and Chairman of the Majlisi Namoyandagon (lower house of Parliament) Mahmadtoir Zokirzoda.
During the meetings, the parties expressed interest in the development and expansion of inter-parliamentary cooperation with Turkmenistan.
President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov visited the Memorial Complex “National Accord and Revival of Tajikistan” on Dusti Square in Dushanbe and, as a sign of respect for the highest national and cultural values, laid a wreath at the monument to the Founder of the first Tajik state, Shah Ismoili Somoni.
Serdar Berdimuhamedov was accompanied by Prime Minister of Tajikistan Kohir Rasulzoda and other officials.
In the evening, in the Novruz Palace, in honor of the President of Turkmenistan, President Emomali Rahmon hosted an official dinner.
The state visit of the President of Turkmenistan to Tajikistan continues. ///nCa, 11 May 2023 [photo credit – press service of President of Tajikistan]