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10 Oct 2019

Lukashenko off to Turkmenistan on working visit

Lukashenko off to Turkmenistan on working visit
An archive photo

MINSK, 10 October (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko has left for Turkmenistan on a working visit. The aircraft with the Belarusian head of state on board has left Minsk National Airport, BelTA informs.

On 11 October, Aleksandr Lukashenko will take part in a session of the CIS Heads of State Council. The agenda will feature issues related to interaction in the integration association, including strategic economic cooperation, collaboration in the law enforcement and military sectors, the fight against terrorism and extremism.

The CIS leaders are also expected to adopt a statement to the peoples of the CIS countries and the international community in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

The day before Ashgabat hosted a session of the CIS Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs who, among other things, approved a number of draft resolutions as a basis for further consideration at the level of the heads of state. The ministers also approved a plan of action aimed at bolstering partnership between the ministers of foreign affairs.

According to the CIS Executive Committee, the participants of the session of the CIS Council of Heads of State will consider eight draft documents aimed at the further development of economic cooperation and foreign policy partnership, enhancement of security and counteraction of new challenges and threats.

The 2020 CIS presidency will also be on the agenda. It is expected that Turkmenistan will hand over the presidency to Uzbekistan; Belarus and Turkmenistan will co-chair.

The expanded session of the CIS Council of Heads of State will focus on a draft declaration for strategic and economic partnership. The agenda will also include such documents as a convention on the transfer of penal sanctions not involving prison sentences, an agreement on a joint engineering department for humanitarian demining in the armed forces of the CIS, an anti-corruption agreement, a program of cooperation against terrorism and extremism for 2020-2022.

Aleksandr Lukashenko will hold a series of talks with his foreign counterparts on the sidelines of the summit. For example, a meeting of Aleksandr Lukashenko with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow has been arranged. “The presidents will discuss ways to develop and strengthen relations between the two countries. It is no secret that we have certain disagreements. I am sure that during the upcoming meeting and future contacts we will find a way to settle the issues that, unfortunately, exist in our relations,” Minister of Foreign Affairs Vladimir Makei told a BelTA reporter in Ashgabat.

Speaking about possible solutions to these issues, Vladimir Makei said he would rather wait for the upcoming meeting of the heads of state. He also noted that Belarus and Turkmenistan can find a compromise. “We have an idea about how to cut this Gordian knot,” the minister said.

As known, the situation around the Garlyk mining and processing factory is a major issue in Belarus-Turkmenistan relations. Ambassador of Belarus to Turkmenistan Vyacheslav Beskosty explained there are many aspects to the conflict. There is no one side that bears full guilt or responsibility. “Our approach and our vision of the situation state that at some point in time the Turkmen side stopped financing the work to finish the construction of the Garlyk mining and processing factory. Respectively our specialists had to suspend construction and tuning operations. This is why we have this situation, mutual claims have emerged, and the sides sue each other in the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce,” the diplomat said.

Aleksandr Lukashenko also spoke in favor of resolving the problem as soon as possible taking into account the historically friendly nature of bilateral relations. The topic was raised as the Belarusian diplomat presented credentials to the president of Turkmenistan on 9 October. “President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow told me that they are ready to look for mutually acceptable solutions,” Vyacheslav Beskosty said.

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