On November 22, 2021, a regular meeting of the heads of foreign ministries of Central Asia and the European Union in the format “European Union - Central Asia” opened in Dushanbe. The delegation of Turkmenistan headed by Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev took part in the meeting.
The participants of the meeting discussed the state and prospects of relations between the European Union and Central Asian countries, the course of implementation of the European Union Strategy for Central Asia, adopted on June 17, 2019, exchanged views on interaction and improvement of efficiency of interregional cooperation.
Underlining the particular importance and timeliness of the current dialogue, as well as the launch of the mechanism of Economic Forums in the format of “CA-EU”, the Turkmen side made a number of proposals for the expansion of partnership cooperation between all participants of the “EU-Central Asia” format.
Focusing on the priority issues of peace and security in the region, the head of the Turkmen delegation noted the need for consolidation of joint efforts within the framework of the EU program in Central Asia BOMCA/CADAP in close cooperation with the UN and its specialized agencies. The fight against cybercrime, measures on strengthening information and biological security were singled out as priority areas of interaction.
Discussing issues related to Afghanistan's stable development, it was stressed that Turkmenistan's approach is based on the unity of political, economic and humanitarian aspects of assistance and support to Afghanistan.
Speaking about the goals and priorities set at the EU-Central Asia Economic Forum held in Bishkek on November 5, 2021, the head of the Turkmen delegation said it was the right time to outline the next steps for their implementation. In this regard, it was proposed to develop and agree on the sequence of joint actions in the economic segment of interaction.
As the main aspects of the next Economic Forum “EU-Central Asia”, the Turkmen side highlighted energy, industry, trade, transport and communications. It was also proposed to hold the next Economic Forum in Turkmenistan.
Stressing the need for further close cooperation in the field of transport, transit and logistics, V.Hajiyev also noted the timeliness of convening the International Conference of Ministers of Transport of Landlocked Developing Countries in 2022, which will be held in Turkmenistan jointly with the United Nations on the basis of the UN General Assembly resolution. At the same time, the importance of intensification of joint contacts in the field of environmental protection, climate change, conservation and rational use of water resources was noted.
Along with enhancing the political and diplomatic, trade and economic cooperation, the head of the Turkmen delegation stressed the need to intensify joint efforts in the cultural and humanitarian dimension.
In this regard, it would be timely to establish a new mechanism, the “EU-CA” Humanitarian Cooperation Forum, to consider the full range of joint work in education, science, culture, art and other fields, stressed V.Hajiyev.
The head of the Turkmen delegation also invited the current meeting participants to take part in the International Forum of Peace and Trust, which will be held on December 12, 2021 in Ashgabat.
As part of his visit to Dushanbe, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Vepa Hajiyev met with the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Josep Borrell.