By Peter Tase
On July 22nd, 2014, the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov welcomed the President of Slovenia in the Oguzhan Presidential Palace; both leaders held a closed doors meeting in the Golden Hall. In his first visit to Ashgabat, President Borut Pahor and his Turkmenistan counterpart addressed a number of issues of mutual interest, including the multidimensional prospects for effective economic cooperation and strengthening of the commercial and technological partnership. Both leaders were committed to encourage the educational, humanitarian and cultural collaboration. Both Eurasian leaders were keen at fostering the bilateral partnership in many areas of strategic interest. This official visit of the Slovenian head of state to Ashgabat is one of the most important official visits undertaken in 2014, marking a new momentum in the bilateral relations between the two countries. The Slovenian government delegation signed bilateral agreements in Seljuk Hall, the presidential palace, with their counterparts of Turkmenistan in the following areas: Cooperation Agreement between the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Turkmenistan and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Slovenia; Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Slovenia; Economic Cooperation Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. Additionally both governments have signed the following bilateral agreement: Memorandum of Understanding between the Turkmentelekom State Company of the Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan and Iskratel, Telekomunikacijski sistemi, Kranj (Slovenia). The signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Communications of Turkmenistan.
The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, signed a joined declaration which summarized the aspirations of both nations to strengthen the bilateral cooperation and gave a press conference.
In his conversation with the Slovenian counterpart, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov focused on the international issues, such as the preservation of peace, sustainable development and security. The leader of Turkmenistan focused on the similar positions that his nation has together with Slovenia.
Both statesmen reaffirmed the importance of partnership within the major international organizations, particularly the UN and the OSCE. In this context, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stated that mutual agreement has been reached towards intensifying the political dialogue and foreign policy cooperation between the two countries.
Accompanied by the Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan, the Foreign Minister Raşit Meredow, President Borut Pahor toured the international port of Türkmenbaşy and visited an oil-refinery factory complex. The chief technology officer described the operation of the facility to the President and showed the polypropylene production hall, and an engine oil laboratory and production hall. Mr. Pahor also visited the new tourist resort Awaz which is expected to become the most important tourist center of the Caspian Sea in the following years. The Turkmen leader underlined the “willingness of Turkmenistan and Slovenia to cooperate in accomplishing a global energy security.” In this context “Turkmenistan views Slovenia as a promising partner and stands ready to begin concrete negotiations on the prospects of bilateral cooperation with Ljubljana, towards securing long-term energy cooperation between Turkmenistan and Europe.”
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov stated that “the energy sector, communications, tourism, medicine, pharmaceuticals industry, food industry and agriculture are the most promising areas in fostering bilateral cooperation with Slovenia.” Turkmenistan’s leader also noted “that there were ample opportunities to intensify partnership in the transportation infrastructure sector in the context of developing road transportation corridors between Asia and Europe on the east-west direction.”
President Borut Pahor stated that both sides “have agreed to establish an intergovernmental commission that would work towards promoting a closer partnership. Slovenia has a keen interest and its business leaders are willing to cooperate with Turkmenistan.” The opportunities in Education and Science cooperation were also addressed in the bilateral talks. The Turkmen leader stated that “Turkmenistan considers Slovenia as an important partner towards intensifying its relations with the European Union.”
In his press statement in Ashgabat, President Borut Pahor expressed his confidence that “the top-level dialogue would contribute to strengthen bilateral relations, including the dialogue between Turkmenistan and the European Union.” The distinguished Slovenian guest laid flowers at the Monument of Turkmenistan Independence located south of Ashgabat. The Slovenian leader planted a young tree on the alley of Guests of Honor and visited the National Turkmen Carpet Museum on that day. The Slovenian President invited President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to pay an official visit to the Republic of Slovenia. This invitation was accepted with gratitude.
Photo source: President of Slovenia