By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Peter Burian, and Governor of Turkmenistan's Ahal region, Serdar Berdimuhamedov, have discussed collaboration in the economic and humanitarian spheres, including the partnership between the business circles of Turkmenistan and the EU, according to Turkmen Foreign Ministry’s official website.
During the talks held between Burian and Berdimuhamedov, the significance of cooperation of the EU with Turkmenistan from the geopolitical viewpoint was noted. The sides underlined the development of friendly relations of Turkmenistan with all the EU countries in the framework of its “Open Door” policy.
Confirming the presence of pleasant investment climate in Turkmenistan, the parties noted the effectiveness of joint programs and projects linked to various sectors of economy. Also, the necessity of exchanging expertise in the area of agriculture, high technologies, protection of ecology and use of renewable energy sources was highlighted.
In the end, the parties expressed their hope for further promotion of mutually beneficial ties between Turkmenistan and the EU.
The meeting was held during Burian's visit to Turkmenistan on November 26.
Burian also met with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev. Noting the high level of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the EU, the parties discussed a wide range of issues pertaining political-diplomatic dialogue, trade-economic ties, as well as the cultural-humanitarian collaboration.
Underlying the significance of the high-level visits, the parties noted the effectiveness of the “EU-Turkmenistan” Joint Committee sessions, the Human Right Dialogue, as well as the inter-parliamentary collaboration.
The sides paid special attention to the cooperation in multilateral formats aimed at the maintenance of economic growth, stability and security in the region. Burian pointed to the importance of holding the Days of the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia in Ashgabat in which he also takes place.
Burian and Hajiyev discussed the cooperation in the field of energy, enhancement of transit-transport routes, healthcare, ecology and education. The effectiveness of the projects and programs implemented in Turkmenistan in assistance of the European Commission was stated.
The EU is looking to increase its dialogue and cooperation with Turkmenistan and hopes to strengthen its institutional framework of cooperation with the ratification of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). The entry into force of the PCA would allow for enhanced discussion and cooperation in all sectors and would establish a formal Cooperation Council, held at Ministerial level.
The number of official and business delegations visiting Turkmenistan over the past years, and a planned opening of a fully-fledged EU Delegation in Turkmenistan in 2019, signal a mutual strategic interest to intensify relations.
EU bilateral development cooperation focuses notably on consolidating the general and professional education systems, on capacity-building of the Turkmen public administration, further improving public finance management, supporting the development of the private sector and agricultural and rural policies.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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