ISLAMABAD: On the invitation of Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan and Cabinet of Ministers Deputy Chairman Rashid Meredov visited Islamabad from January 15 to 16.
The Turkmenistan foreign minister was accompanied by a high-level delegation, comprising of the energy minister, state minister and Turkmen Gas chairman, TAPI Pipeline Company Limited chairman and chief executive officer, as well as experts and senior officials from other sectors.
The ministers led their respective sides to the inaugural session of Pakistan-Turkmenistan Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC). Both ministers expressed satisfaction on the current level of bilateral relations between the two countries. They agreed that both sides needed to make efforts to further enhance economic relations through joint ventures in agriculture, textile, livestock and information technology sectors.
The two countries also focused on measures for enhanced connectivity, including air and land linkages to promote trade, travel, tourism and people-to-people contacts. The ministers acknowledged the importance of early implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline project. Both sides also reviewed the implementation of decisions of the Joint Governmental Commission (JGC) held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan from August 17 to 18, 2017.
Meredov later paid courtesy calls on the president and prime minister of Pakistan. He conveyed the greetings sent by the leadership of Turkmenistan to the president and the prime minister. The Turkmenistan foreign minister also handed over an invitation from the President of Turkmenistan to the President of Pakistan for the link-up ceremony of TAPI, being planned for this year.
Pakistan and Turkmenistan have historically enjoyed close and cordial relations marked by trust and understanding. These ties were characterised by mutual respect, shared perceptions and the common desire to promote peace, stability and development in the region. The two countries also cooperated closely in the regional and multilateral fora.