On May 30, 2023, the National Leader of the Turkmen people, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov met with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi.
At the beginning of the meeting, the President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi noted that Iran attaches great importance to the current visit of the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan, the results of which are designed to give a new impetus to further deepening the interstate dialogue.
Particular emphasis was placed on the importance of the first official visit of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to Iran in June 2022 and the agreements reached during the negotiations at the highest level. At present, joint work is underway on the practical implementation of the signed agreements in various fields.
Iranian-Turkmen relations, based on common historical and cultural roots and traditions dating back thousands of years, are successfully developing today in a wide range of areas, including in the political, diplomatic, trade, economic, cultural and humanitarian spheres, said the President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, reaffirming the readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran to expand cooperation with Turkmenistan, which is implementing a constructive foreign policy strategy.
Turkmenistan pays special attention to the development of fruitful relations with neighboring countries, including Iran, the National Leader of the Turkmen people emphasized, stating that there is a huge potential for building up partnership.
In continuation of the meeting, the interlocutors noted that at present, a high level is inherent in interstate political and diplomatic relations. This is confirmed by the mutual visits of the heads of state and the meetings and negotiations held within their framework, in particular, the working visit of the President of Iran to Turkmenistan to participate in the 15th Summit of the Economic Cooperation Organization, held on November 28, 2021 and the Sixth Caspian Summit on June 29, 2022 , as well as the first official visit of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov to Iran, which took place on June 14-15, 2022, which gave a great impetus to the expansion of cooperation and contributed to bringing the friendly and fraternal Turkmen-Iranian relations to a new stage of development.
In this regard, Arkadag suggested organizing mutual visits of representatives of ministries and governments on a regular basis to develop specific mechanisms for expanding partnership between our countries.
The parties also noted with satisfaction the effective nature of cooperation within the framework of international structures, in particular, the UN. Particular emphasis was placed on mutual support of each other's initiatives and proposals on key issues of world development. Based on this, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty of Turkmenistan spoke in favor of more coordinated joint interaction at the international level.
The issues of strengthening trade and economic ties were also the subject of detailed discussion. Among the relevant vectors, the gas sector, electric power industry, transport complex, water sector were identified. In this regard, the course of the agreements reached in these areas and the possibility of implementing new joint projects were discussed.
Further, the negotiations continued in an expanded format, with the participation of members of the government delegations of Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Thanking the President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi for the invitation to visit Iran, the National Leader of the Turkmen people conveyed greetings and best wishes from President Serdar Berdimuhamedov.
It was noted that our countries have been maintaining diplomatic relations for more than thirty years, during which bilateral cooperation has reached a strategic level.
Iran was among the first to support the independence and status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan and assisted in this direction on the world stage. In addition, the Iranian side always supports the international initiatives of our country related to ensuring global peace, security and sustainable development.
In turn, Turkmenistan respects the sovereignty of Iran, highly appreciates concrete and constructive principles, notes its role in the world arena and always supports its international initiatives.
Further, an exchange of views took place on issues of the regional agenda in the light of the complex global processes currently taking place and taking into account the growing role of the Central Asian region. As noted, the favorable geopolitical location of the two countries serves as a reliable basis for the growing interest in developing cooperation at the regional level. In this context, special attention is paid to the issues of ensuring security and stability in the region.
Turkmenistan puts forward initiatives to maintain peace and sustainable development in Central Asia and restore the world order in neighboring Afghanistan and carries out specific work on their practical implementation. In particular, a start was made on the implementation of a number of regional and international infrastructure projects with the participation of Afghanistan in such areas as energy, transport and communications.
Emphasizing the great importance of the construction of railways carried out by Iran in the reconstruction of the Afghan economy, Arkadag expressed confidence that infrastructure projects are investments not only for the Afghan side, but for the entire region, noting the expediency of continuing work in this direction.
An important place in relations between Turkmenistan and Iran is given to issues related to the Caspian Sea. The geopolitical processes taking place today in the region require the intensification of joint efforts to strengthen joint regional security. The parties noted the importance of the specific agreements reached following the results of the Sixth Caspian Summit of the heads of state of the region held in Ashgabat on June 29, 2022. Along with this, the importance of the Caspian Basin was emphasized not only in the political aspect, but also from the economic point of view.
As part of the exchange of views on bilateral trade and economic partnership, the parties noted an increase in the volume of trade. Noting the need to fully utilize the existing potential, a proposal was made to intensify the solution of issues related to gas supplies and transit, increase exports and imports, and increase cooperation in the transport sector and in the field of electricity.
Particular emphasis was placed on the significance of the agreements reached between our countries on gas exchange. The parties spoke in favor of the need to continue joint actions in this direction.
The electric power industry was named among the promising vectors of partnership. In this aspect, the importance of accelerating the work on laying the Mary-Mashhad power line, which will connect the two countries, was discussed.
In the context of expanding cooperation in the field of transport and logistics, as well as increasing cargo transportation, the National Leader of the Turkmen people made a number of specific proposals, including those related to the use of the potential of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, the International Seaport of Turkmenbashi and Iranian ports on the Caspian Sea.
Agriculture was also identified in a number of priority areas of interstate partnership.
At the same time, it was noted that there is great potential for deepening contacts in such areas as trade, investment, and industry. A special role in this process is assigned to the activities of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Iranian Commission for Economic Cooperation.
Speaking about cultural and humanitarian cooperation, the parties noted that Turkmenistan and Iran attach special importance to the development of fruitful contacts in this area. As it was emphasized, the various events held jointly open wide opportunities for the spiritual enrichment of our peoples. In this regard, the need was expressed for expanding partnerships in the scientific and educational sphere, in the field of healthcare, in the field of sports and ecology, at the level of the velayats of the two countries.
Arkadag, emphasizing that in 2024 the 300th anniversary of the outstanding thinker and poet Magtymguly Fragi will be widely celebrated, expressed confidence that creative forums will be organized together with Iranian friends in honor of this significant date.
Then the ceremony of signing bilateral documents took place. Among them:
- Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the electric power industry between the Ministry of Energy of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Energy of the Islamic Republic of Iran;
- Cooperation Program for 2023-2024 between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran;
- A program of joint activities to deepen and expand cooperation in the future for 2023–2024 between the State Customs Service of Turkmenistan and the Customs Administration of the Islamic Republic of Iran;
- Memorandum on cooperation in the fields of education and healthcare between the State Medical University of Turkmenistan named after Myrat Garryev and the Mashhad University of Medical Sciences;
- Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of education between the Turkmen Agricultural University named after S.A.Niyazov and the Gurgen University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
A Joint Declaration between Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Iran was also adopted.
At the end of the signing ceremony, the Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty and the President of Iran addressed the press.
On the same day, an official dinner was given in honor of the distinguished Turkmen guest in the Hafeziýe Palace of the Saadabad complex on behalf of the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.