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Belarus and Turkmenistan maintaining high cooperation standards

Belarus and Turkmenistan should not give up on the high standard of cooperation, said Alexander Lukashenko at the talks with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. The heads of state discussed in Ashgabat not only the strategy of development of the bilateral relations but also some international issues. The official visit of President of Belarus to Turkmenistan began on the eve of an important world event - the conference themed The Neutrality Policy. This forum will gather on 12 December the leaders of the region and prominent world politicians. Alexander Lukashenko will also take part in the large-scale forum. 

The conversation of the leaders in a one-on-one format began in a special room called "Golden Hall". It is quite clear why it is called so. However, the friendly rhetoric of the presidents was not a surprise. Alexander Lukashenko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov have met every year for the past six years. 

Alexander Lukashenko:
I am lucky, I'm the only president in the world who performs the official visit on the eve of this great event (the Policy of Neutrality conference - note by the CTV Channel), which determined the direction of foreign policy of your beautiful country. You have taken a position of neutrality, and I remember it very well. From the first days of your rule, you have actively defended this position and promoted it and you did act in this direction. It has brought undoubted success to your country. This is the way, probably the only right way, which you have selected and implemented in recent years. The agenda, the topic that we will deal with at the international conference is peace and security. Without this, there is no stability.  Around us we see fires of raging conflicts, clashes and already wars. I talked about this back at the UN summit: I do not want to live to times when the world explodes with a large-scale war. This is a very important context of the conversation.   And I am grateful that you have invited our delegation to visit this forum.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan:
Turkmenistan and the Republic of Belarus support each other in the international arena. We have concurring views. These are basically questions of stability and security throughout the world. Therefore, we thank you for supporting all the initiatives of Turkmenistan in the international arena.  

Then the leaders raised economic issues. Turkmenistan plans to purchase a large batch of Belarusian equipment - including from MAZ and MTZ. These machines are in particular needed for the largest Belarusian-Turkmen project on the production of potash. The Garlyk processing plant is going to be finished in a couple of years.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
As agreed we are building here a powerful center, a machine building center and huge shopping house. And we already have agreements with you and I also spoke with the ambassadors of Afghanistan, Iran and other states. We will sell Belarus-Turkmenistan goods to other countries from here. And they have very great interest in this. I think Mr Berdimuhamedov, we will do a lot to make here the real sector akin to that in Belarus. We are ready to share experience, knowledge (no taboo topics), from simple economy (clothing and shoes) to the military-industrial complex and staff training. We do not hide it. All that we know we give to our friends. 

The bilateral trade in 2013 amounted to $320 million. Now Belarus and Turkmenistan's trade has sunk but this may be easily remedied.

Alexander Lukashenko:
We recognize that the trade has declined. This is due to prices for raw materials and finished products that collapsed. Completely different have the prices become but remember that we count our turnover in value terms. We analyzed and came to conclusion that the physical volumes of trade has remained almost the same. I support the President in saying that we have sufficient capacity to exceed the 2013 value in both value and physical terms.

Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov:
We have very great interest in a number of other areas. In particular, we are talking about the supply to Turkmenistan of freight cars, track equipment, elevators and other products manufactured by Belarusian enterprises. 

Neutrality is a matter of great pride for Turkmenistan. The policy of non-participation in any armed conflicts had been recognized by ​​the United Nations and implemented for the past 20 years. It should be noted that in terms of geography and politics Turkmenistan's region is far from stability.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
It seemed it had been impossible to realize that course.  And the merit of your president is that he put into practice the aspirations of this great idea cherished by ​​the Turkmen people. This policy is the only possible and it was very precisely realized and the Turkmen people capitalized on this.

Experts were preparing seriously for this visit. The sides were to sign more than a dozen documents. The main among them was a roadmap of cooperation for 2016-2017. The leaders also issued a statement on the deepening of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.  Documents on cooperation between companies of the food and light industry and the academies of sciences were also inked.

Much has been done. The President of Belarus notes that the visit was timely and will bring real benefits to the two countries.

Alexander Lukashenko, Belarus President:
It is gratifying to note that in a relatively short time, our countries managed to achieve significant progress in economic and humanitarian cooperation. Belarus is ready to continue to actively participate in major projects of modernization of the economy carried out in Turkmenistan in terms of industrialization of the country through the supply of modern agricultural equipment, automotive, road-building, municipal equipment and passenger vehicles. There are concrete developments in the field of science and technology and mutual interest in developing cooperation in the field of agriculture. Cooperation in the health sector is another promising area of ​​Belarusian-Turkmen relations. We expect that commercial buildings located in the cities of Ashgabat and Minsk will contribute largely to the bilateral trade.

Alexander Lukashenko and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov