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Turkmen Foreign Minister Meets with Kazakh President to Discuss Major Joint Projects

By Aygerim Sarymbetova May 31, 2024

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Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashit Meredow met with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, during his official visit in the Kazakh capital, Astana, on May 27, 2024. / Orient.tm

Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashit Meredow and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev discussed the progress of major joint projects during their recent meeting. 

Meredow embarked on an official visit to the Kazakh capital, Astana, on May 27, as reported by the Turkmen news website Orient.tm.

During the meeting, they reviewed advancements in areas such as trade, economy, energy, and transport and logistics, as well as addressed current regional and international matters, and planned forthcoming high-level engagements.

President Tokayev expressed confidence in the deepening partnership between the two nations, highlighting Turkmenistan’s significance as a trusted strategic ally with shared historical and cultural ties. He emphasized the expanding cooperation, particularly in vital sectors of the economy.

In response, the Turkmen foreign minister affirmed Ashgabat’s dedication to fostering collaboration with Astana across all facets of bilateral relations.

During his visit, Meredow also engaged in discussions with his Kazakh counterpart, Murat Nurtleu, focusing on enhancing bilateral trade and economic ties. The foreign ministers explored opportunities for cooperation in political, trade, economic, transit, transport, energy, and cultural domains.

Trade between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan has surged nearly fourfold over the past five years, reaching $563 million in 2023, with a 28% increase compared to the previous year. Encouragingly, bilateral trade exceeded $100 million in the first quarter of the current year, signaling a positive trajectory towards achieving the mutually set target of $1 billion in the near future.

The potential of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway continues to grow, with cargo transport between the countries increasing by 20% to 1.3 million tons in 2023.

Meanwhile, Meredow and Nurtleu also highlighted the substantial potential for cooperation in the energy sector, expressing readiness to support fruitful collaboration in this area. They further stressed the importance of finalizing the signing procedure for the five-party agreement on friendship, good neighborliness, and cooperation, aimed at fostering development in 21st-century Central Asia.

During a meeting on May 24, Kazakh Prime Minister Olzhas Bektenov and Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedow underscored the robust bilateral relations and discussed cooperation in the gas sector, as well as joint agricultural projects.

Earlier, Turkmen People's Council Chairman Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev emphasized the importance of maximizing the potential of the China-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran transport corridor to boost trade between the Kazakh port of Aktau and the Turkmen port of Turkmenbashi on the Caspian Sea.

At the fifth consultative meeting of Central Asian leaders in September 2023, the Turkmen president proposed establishing a unified Central Asian transport and logistics platform.

Moreover, last August, the foundation stone for a new road bridge across the Garabogaz Kel Bay along the Turkmenbashi–Garabogaz–Kazakhstan border highway was laid. This project aims to leverage Turkmenistan’s existing transport and transit potential to enhance international trade and economic cooperation.

The Central Asian region has been actively pursuing economic diversification through various ambitious initiatives, including China’s Belt and Road Initiative.