Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan
Turkmenistan is a dynamic country which has an independent foreign policy which cares its national interest and physical landscapes. Under visionary leadership of H.E. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, it promotes regional peace, co-existence, energy cooperation and economic corridors. It protects sustainable development in the region and on the planet. Self-reliance and strong defence are also important pillars of its pragmatic foreign policy. Energy diversification is also one of the important objectives of its foreign policy. Liaison with largest international organizations, development of trade and economic, cultural and humanitarian relations with all interested partner sates remained the key vector of Turkmenistan course in the world arena in 2016. Moreover, neutrality is the essence of its foreign policy.
Turkmenistan under visionary leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has achieved greater socio-economic sustained development despite regional and global weak economic conditions, greater regional connectivity, energy diversification, energy cooperation (TAPI) and the last but not the least, height of commercial diplomacy during 2016. During which, the President, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Head of the State, hold meetings with the head of the states and governments of Qatar, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Germany, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Russia and Palestine. 138 bilateral documents were signed which opened new opportunities and prospects for interstate partnership in 2016. Mutual visits of Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif and President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov opened a “new chapter” of better political understanding, greater socio-economic interaction, development of trade and commerce ties and the last but not the least cooperation in the fields of banking, civil aviation, science and technology and agricultural production.
Moreover, 453 foreign delegations visited Turkmenistan and 951 Turkmen delegations were sent to foreign countries during 2016. More than 191 international events including conferences, organized together with foreign partners, international organizations and countries of the European Union, Asian Pacific and Central Asian regions, Middle East, Europe and America, were held. First ever “Global Sustainable Transports” was held in Ashgabat with the collaboration of the UN in November 2016. Moreover, new “Ashgabat Airport” was inaugurated in November 2016 which further enhanced its regional connectivity and further transformed its services industries mainly civil aviation. 31 consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, 16 sessions of intergovernmental commissions and 15 business forums were also organized in 2016.
Furthermore, Turkmenistan actively developed useful/meaningful cooperation with competent organization including SCO, CIS, OBSE, Non-Aligned Movement, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and others in 2016. As for today, Turkmenistan has granted accreditation to 15 representative offices of international organizations. 13 Turkmenistan representative offices operate in international organizations.
Since its inception, Turkmenistan established diplomatic relations with 142 foreign countries and opened 38 consulates and embassies in 38 of them. Diplomatic missions of 35 states were accredited to Turkmenistan.
Most recently, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held regular session of the Government during which important issues of state life and diversified but integrated activity of the branches of the national economy were thoroughly discussed and reviewed and subsequently, number of documents was adopted.
The Vice-premier reported on the activity undertaken for financial support of agricultural producers in the country. Head of the State Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov appreciated the important role of domestic entrepreneurship in agricultural sector. President Berdimuhamedov was of the opinion that grants of befitting financial assistance/loans would promote active implementation of modern ways and means of management and modern technologies of crop production. It would also further increase agricultural production, development of new lands and enhance volumes of high quality agricultural production.
During the said meeting, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers Ya. Kakayev reported on development in structural divisions of fuel and energy sectors in the country. Number of proposals for development of oil and gas deposits/reservoirs of the country was presented for review to the Head of the State.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stressed the need to increase production and processing volumes of oil and gas. He instructed the Vice-premier for the further modernization of the infrastructure and technical re-equipment of fuel and energy sector, construction of modern gas processing plants, attraction of additional investments to the branch, implementation of new technologies and management practices among the priority directions.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers R. Bazarov reported on seasonal agricultural works in the country. He mentioned that vegetation irrigation of winter wheat crops, additional mineral fertilizing is continued and constant. Draft Resolution “On Procurement of Chemicals for agricultural plants” was submitted to the Head of the State for review.
The President of Turkmenistan signed the Resolution and allowed the Ministry of Agriculture and Water Management to conclude the contracts for procurement of chemicals used for growing wheat and cotton.
Afterwards, Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers B. Ereshov reported about the development in industrial sector. Particularly, the Vice-premier reported on fulfilment of the assignments given by the Head of the State for construction of living houses around the country for disabled persons and people required special social protection, having presented the draft of relative Resolution. The President of Turkmenistan signed the document and highlighted that the apartments for this category of the citizens would be free of charge.
Deputy Chairman of the cabinet of Ministers D. Amangeldiyev, reported on the works for urban planning of Turkmen capital. President Berdimuhamedov instructed to increase rates of urban planning of the capital and highlighted that it is necessary to plant more trees in micro districts and make garden parks. In this regard, the Vice-premier was commissioned to provide execution of all works on high quality level.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers B. Annameredov gave report on the activity in the spheres under his supervision including the development of telecommunication sector of the country. The President highlighted the importance of further development and improvement of national telecommunication network and its integration to unified informational space, improvement of transit potential and establishment as international hub. He also defined number of measures, which would provide high level of telecommunication and informational services in the country.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers B. Atdayev reported on the activity of the Ministry of Trade and Foreign Economic Affairs implemented together with the Executive Committee for preparation to V Asian Games. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov underlined high level of service for the participants and guests of the Asian games in Ashgabat as the main direction of preparation works.
After, Deputy Chairperson of the Cabinet of Ministers G. Mammedova reported on the development of systematic measures for improvement of national crafts in Turkmenistan and structural and methodology base established in this field. Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers S. Toyliyev reported on international test competitions in the Olympic village in 2017.
Three test competitions Asian Powerlifting Competition, Asian Kickboxing Tournament as well as International Swimming Competition will be held in April 16-30 of this year. It will allow to test the functionality of the facilities and the systems of the Olympic village, level of preparation to V Asian Games and to undertake the necessary works in this direction.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov requested to develop all organizational issues related to international test competitions.
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, Minister of International Affairs R. Meredov briefed about the fulfilment of the assignments given by the Head of the State previously and presented the report on the presidency of our country in International Fund for Saving of the Aral Sea in 2017-2019 inclusively.
The president Berdimuhamedov was presented with developed Draft of the Concept for the presidency of Turkmenistan in the above mentioned Fund. The concept defines main works’ directions including those for rational use and management of water resources, environmental protection, climate change and improvement of ecological situation in the Central Asian region. It was mentioned that all these key directions include specific measures for practical realization of the Goals of Sustainable Development for 2016-2030 adopted in September 2015 during the 70th session of the UN General Assembly.
The Vice-premier submitted the Draft Provision on Executive Committee of International Fund for the review to the Head of the State and offered the candidates for the Executive Committee.
Having signed the documents, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov upheld special responsibility of the country that faces the objective to support comprehensively the expansion and consolidation of the cooperation of the Central Asian countries in all spectrum of issues of environment protection, activation of close cooperation of the states of the region with largest international organizations, first of all, with the UN and its specialized branches.