President Ram Nath Kovind and his Turkmenistan counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow on Saturday held delegation-level talks at Oguzhar palace Ashgabat and exchanged views on various issues including regional and international.

“During meeting with Turkmenistan President, we held a detailed discussion on the state and prospects of bilateral relations. We also exchanged views on various regional and international issues of importance. We have agreed to intensify efforts to further strengthen our multifaceted partnership,” President Kovind said in a joint statement on Saturtday.

Expressing gratitude to the President of Turkmenistan for the warm welcome and generous hospitality, President Kovind said this gesture reflects the “vibrancy of the friendship between our two great nations.”

He added that it is the first-ever visit by a President of India to Turkmenistan, and also one of the first visits hosted by the new and young leader of Turkmenistan.

Speaking about the other milestone, President Kovind said that “we mark the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Turkmenistan. We have good reasons to be satisfied with the development of our multifaceted bilateral ties over the last three decades, and especially in the last decade”.

In a joint statement, President Kovind said that economic relations strengthen bilateral ties.
“We agreed to do more to expand bilateral trade which has remained modest. Our business communities must deepen their engagement, understand each other’s regulations and identify new areas of trade and investment,” he said, adding that the MoU between the Financial Intelligence Unit of India and Financial Monitoring Service of Turkmenistan signed today would strengthen the framework of economic cooperation between the two countries.

Asserting that connectivity is critical for any trading arrangement, President Kovind highlighted the significance of the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and the Ashgabat Agreement on the international transport and transit corridor.

He pointed out that the Chabahar port built by India in Iran could be used to improve trade between India and Central Asia.

“Cooperation in energy was one of the key areas of our discussions today. On the TAPI pipeline, I suggested that issues related to the security of the pipeline and key business principles may be addressed in technical and expert level meetings” said in the Joint statement.

President Kovind also said that both India and Turkmenistan identified new areas of cooperation such as disaster management on which we have signed an MoU today. I conveyed India’s readiness to partner with Turkmenistan in its drive towards digitalisation, he said, adding that space can be another area of mutually beneficial cooperation.

“Our countries share centuries-old civilizational and cultural linkages. During the talks, I underlined the importance of holding regular cultural events in each other’s territory. I am sure the Programme of Cooperation on Culture and Arts for the period 2022-25, signed today, will give direction to our cultural cooperation” he said in the joint statement

President Kovind said that Turkmenistan is an important partner for India in the India-Central Asia Summit framework, the first of which India hosted virtually in January this year.

“We agreed to further enhance cooperation under the framework flowing from the India-Central Asia Summit,” he added.
Mentioning Afghanistan, Kovind also said that as immediate neighbours of Afghanistan, our countries are naturally concerned about the developments within that country and their external repercussions.

“We share a broad ‘regional consensus’ on the issues related to Afghanistan, which includes the formation of a truly representative and inclusive government, combating terrorism and drug trafficking, the central role of the UN, providing immediate humanitarian assistance for the people of Afghanistan and preserving the rights of women, children and other national ethnic groups and minorities,” he added. (ANI)