Top Turkmen Diplomat Attends EU-CA Ministerial Meeting in Luxembourg

Top Turkmen Diplomat Attends EU-CA Ministerial Meeting in Luxembourg
19th EU-Central Asia Ministerial Meeting, October 23, 2023, Luxembourg (Photo: Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, attended the 19th EU-Central Asia ministerial meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, the press service of the European Commission (EC) reported.

The meeting, chaired by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, brought together the foreign ministers of Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and, for the first time, the foreign ministers of the 27 EU member states, the press release reported. Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen represented the EC.

In his speech at the ministerial meeting, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted the importance of maintaining international peace and security, paying particular attention to the initiative to develop a Global Security Strategy, highlighted the issues of economic cooperation with the EU, including the strengthening of transit links, the development of the private sector and Turkmenistan's accession to the World Trade Organisation, the Turkmen Foreign Ministry said.

In addition, the importance of creating new transport links between Central Asia and Europe was emphasised. Particular attention was paid to expanding gas exports to the European direction through the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline and promoting international cooperation in the clean and renewable energy sectors. In this context, the Foreign Minister urged support for two UN General Assembly resolutions on sustainable transport and mobility of energy resources initiated by Turkmenistan.

During a meeting, Rashid Meredov, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, reaffirmed the country's commitment to environmental protection and climate change mitigation. He emphasised the importance of education as the foundation for Turkmenistan's socio-economic development. Additionally, Minister Meredov highlighted the significant potential for cooperation in sectors such as health and the digital economy.

Turkmenistan expressed its readiness to host the next Ministerial Meeting between the European Union and Central Asia in 2024, demonstrating its eagerness to foster regional cooperation and engagement with the EU.

During the meeting, the European Union and the Central Asian countries confirmed their intention to strengthen their partnership. They discussed various areas of cooperation, including connectivity, economy, trade, environment, water, climate, education, science, and innovation. The Ministers endorsed the EU-Central Asia Roadmap proposed during the meeting in Cholpon-Ata in June of the same year. 

The parties eagerly anticipate the 2024 EU-Central Asia Investment Forum, which will take place in Brussels on January 29-30. The forum aims to enhance and reinforce transportation connections in accordance with the 2023 EU-EBRD Sustainable Transport Links Study.

During his visit, Rashid Meredov, Turkmenistan's Foreign Minister, held meetings with Alexander Schallenberg, the Federal Minister for European and International Affairs of the Republic of Austria, Luminica Odobescu, the Romanian Foreign Minister, and Constantinos Kombos, the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cyprus.