President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov has paid an official visit to Turkmenistan on the invitation of that country’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
On arrival in Ashgabat it was evident that a lot of beautifying work had been done in the city prior to the visit by the Uzbek President. The airport and streets were garlanded with flags of two nations along with welcome banners in Uzbek and Turkmen.
Major events of the visit began on October 19 in Oguzgent, Turkmen President’s residence, with a tet-a-tet meeting of the two leaders. The heads of state went through a thorough exchange of views on a wide range of issues pertaining to Uzbek-Turkmen relations, regional and international topics of mutual interest.
Islam Karimov noted that harmony of interests and views, similar positions on practically all subjects have been confirmed again and in particular on the need to comprehensive boosting of mutual ties.
“Uzbekistan has consistently supported Turkmenistan’s well thought-out foreign policy course, its unprejudiced approaches and sound initiatives aimed at bolstering regional and international security, expanding trade and economic ties in the region, development of transport and communication corridors and energy routes,” President Karimov said.
Uzbekistan’s leader pointed out that despite the enduring global economic crisis, bilateral trade increased by about 40% in 2009, and that joint efforts and practical measures, including national exhibitions of the two countries in Ashgabat and Tashkent, have facilitated it.
“We are confident that establishing a free trade regime between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will help remove barriers to free movement of goods produced in our countries and promote cooperation ties between enterprises,” the head of our nation said.
The setting up of Turkmen-Uzbek joint venture for the distribution and maintenance of vehicles manufactured in Uzbekistan has been a practical step in the development of direct cooperation between business entities, our President put in particular.
Islam Karimov stressed that Uzbekistan completely supports the implementation of Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline construction project that constitutes a stable transit corridor for natural gas and helps diversify the directions of hydrocarbon exports from Central Asia.
The head of our nation also spoke about communications capacity of the region and its promising areas.
“The subject matter is the project of opening a transport corridor that can be defined as Uzbekistan- Turkmenistan-Iran-Oman-Qatar and other countries of the Persian Gulf”, Islam Karimov said. “We have discussed this issue with President of Turkmenistan and I am pleased to have found a full understanding in my counterpart that this corridor, this project will open up vast opportunities for our countries to such communications, reach the world markets that wee need.
“I would like to stress that Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan will be reliable partners in the development and implementation of the project. It is a special project. Not only do our countries take interest in it, but many other nations, too. Turkmenistan plays an important role in its implementation. And if Turkmenistan takes up this matter, all other countries will welcome that.”
Following the talks, Islam Karimov and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov signed the Uzbek-Turkmen joint statement. The governments of two states signed the Program of Cooperation in Cultural and Humanitarian Sphere for 2011-2013.
On the second day of the visit, the two presidents visited the city of Dashoguz.
Here, Uzbek-Turkmen Friendship Festival opened on October18, gathering over 300 artists from both countries.
There the two leaders viewed an exhibition of products of national applied art and food. They also attended the show of riders and kurashists.
President of Turkmenistan presented the Akhal-Teke, the unique breed of horse, to Uzbek leader.
The main event of the festival a gala concert featuring artists of Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan was held in Ruhiyat Palace in Dashoguz.
Islam Karimov and Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov noted that the art forum, organized for the first time in the history of two countries further promote cooperation in the sphere of culture and art between the Uzbek and Turkmen people.
“Today, in a picturesque part of Turkmenistan, in Dashoguz we all have witnessed a truly historic event that will leave an indelible mark on the cultural life of the Turkmen and Uzbek people,” said Islam Karimov.
“Our wise forefathers said: “If you want to know the nature of the heart and soul of any nation, first get aware of its culture, literature and art.” Naturally, in the works of poets and composers, Bakhshi and performers of every nation joys and sorrows, dreams and aspirations, noble aspirations of the nation are embodied.”
“The national classical art and pop of Turkmenistan vividly represent an ever more prosperous life of the Turkmen people, their confident gait in all spheres of life, energy and enthusiasm of the Turkmen youth and the incomparable beauty of Turkmen women,” Uzbek President stated. “I am sure that our Turkmen friends are also reading the works of our great thinker Alisher Navoi, under the sound of Uzbek melodies and songs that represent the past and present of our people living in Uzbekistan.”
“For centuries, Uzbek and Turkmen people have lived side by side in peace and harmony. This is reflected in the art of the two nations,” said Gurbanguli Berdimuhamedov. “This is important in the manifestation of our people’s inherent noble qualities like kindness, peace and generosity.”
The official visit of President Islam Karimov to Turkmenistan ended, raising the bonds of friendship and cooperation between the two countries to the next level.
The talks in Ashgabat and the festival of friendship in Dashoguz once again demonstrated that cooperation between two states was developing in line with the principles of good neighborliness, friendship and brotherhood.