Romania and Turkmenistan have a partnership of a strategic value, and the bilateral relation must be consolidated and its economic potential must be capitalised on particularly in the energy and transport area, Foreign Affairs Minister Teodor Melescanu said on Friday, at the end of the meeting held at the Foreign Affairs Ministry (MAE) headquarters with his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov.
Melescanu mentioned, in a joint press statement with Meredov, that during the talks they established the priorities of the bilateral relations, structured on four main directions: politics, economy, security and human.
The two officials signed the Action Plan on the Foreign Ministry level for the cooperation in the period 2017 – 2018, a concrete instrument of cooperation between the two diplomacies, which provides a series of consultations on various levels of interest for both sides.
“All these are important so much more that in 2017 we celebrate 25 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Romania and Turkmenistan. The discussion agenda included the stage and development prospects of the bilateral relations between Romania and Turkmenistan, the calendar of bilateral contacts on various levels this year, the cooperation on the economic and investment dimension, in the energy and transport areas – with a highlight on intensifying the collaboration aimed at accomplishing the project of freight transport corridor the Caspian Sea – the Black Sea,” Teodor Melescanu said.
He pointed out that he agreed with his counterpart on organising in 2017 in Ashgabat a new session of the Romanian – Turkmen mixed intergovernmental committee for commercial-economic collaboration, as well as a business forum with the role of facilitating the contacts between companies of the two countries.
“In the energy area, we agreed on intensifying the cooperation for the creation of a Romanian – Turkmen energy partnership. (…) I particularly appreciated the availability of Turkmenistan to widen its dialogue with the EU on energy topics, as well as the initiatives of the Turkmen side in the area of energy supplies on the European market. I conveyed the Turkmen side that we are interested in capitalising on the potential that Turkmenistan represents in the gas supply through the trans-Caspian pipeline to Azerbaijan and, further on, through the TANAP and AGRI projects, to Europe,” Melescanu said.
He added that he also conveyed the will to maximize the advantages coming from Romania’s and Turkmenistan’s access to the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, respectively, through the achievement of the freight transport corridor the Black Sea – the Caspian Sea.
“I emphasised the need for cooperation between the ports of Constanta and Turkmenbashi, seeking on a priority basis the capitalisation on the position of the port of Constanta as a gateway to Europe for the freight flow from the countries in the Caspian Sea basin,” the Romanian chief diplomat showed.
He also referred to the education area, noting that the Romanian state granted in the university year 2015 – 2016 a number of 132 study scholarships in Romania for Turkmen youths, a situation which he mentioned as being “unprecedented for the relations with a state in the Central-Asia region.”
As international topics on the discussion agenda, the Romanian Foreign Minister mentioned the cooperation between Romania and Turkmenistan in a multilateral framework, mainly in the UN and the OSCE, the relations of Turkmenistan with the EU, the security developments with relevance on a regional and international level, the fight against terrorism.
Melescanu also informed that on Friday a cooperation agreement was signed with the Turkmen side between AGERPRES and THD national news agencies.
In his turn, the Turkmen Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov highlighted the good level of the bilateral relation, also mentioning his meeting with President Klaus Iohannis on Friday morning.
“During this meeting we underscored once more the significance of the Romanian – Turkmen relations in their broadest range. Today, […] we have discussed a series of topics of bilateral interest. I would like to underscore our interest in developing the relations between the two states in respect to the diplomatic policy, the economic, security and human area,” Meredov said.
He mentioned that this year, on 21 July, 25 years of bilateral diplomatic relations will be celebrated, a period in which the two states made all efforts to keep the Romanian – Turkmen relations on a very high level.
“In respect to the collaboration of Turkmenistan with the EU, I would like to bring to mind once more the words of the Turkmen President concerning the fact that our state regards Romania as a bridge head for the relations with the EU and we are grateful to our Romanian colleagues for the support from all points of view of this collaboration within the European structures,” the Turkmen Foreign Minister said.
According to him, the Romanian – Turkmen dialogue in the economic area is actively developing, including on the level of the diplomatic missions in Ashgabat and Bucharest.
“I fully agree with the note given by my Romanian colleague concerning the need to consolidate the economic and energy contacts between the two states,” Rashid Meredov also said.
President Iohannis underscores importance of developing economic cooperation with Turkmenistan
President Klaus Iohannis welcomed on Friday at the Cotroceni Palace Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkmenistan Rasid Meredov, context in which they highlighted the importance of developing the economic cooperation in the energy, transport and bilateral trade areas, according to a press release of the Presidential Administration.
The agenda of discussions included an exchange of view points on the stage and prospects of strengthening the partnership bilateral relation, as defined by the Common Declaration of Romania’s and Turkmenistan’s Presidents of 2009 and according to the Action Plan of 2012 for enforcing it.
The head of state hailed the celebration of 25 years since establishing the diplomatic relations between the two countries.
According to the Presidential Administration, Deputy PM Meredov voiced his special appreciation for the very good political relations between the two countries, as well as within the multilateral framework, pointing out that for his country Romania represents the gateway for entering in Europe.
From this point of view, he underscored the interest of his country for the Turkmen gas export towards Europe, including through the AGRI project.
In this context an exchange of opinions regarding the stage of materializing the project of trans-Caspian gas pipeline for the transmission of natural gas, the quoted source mentions.
Moreover, the issue in respect to ensuring the connectivity between Europe and Central Asia was discussed, by creating the Black Sea – Caspian Sea freight project, initiated by Romania and Turkmenistan, which capitalizes on the direct link between the Constanta Port and the Georgian ports through the Black Sea. The Turkmen high official reiterated the strong support of his country for this project.
Within the discussions the stage of relations between the European Union and Turkmenistan was tackled, President Klaus Iohannis expressing Romania’s support for developing and deepening these relations.