TRIPARTITE MEETING OF THE HEADS OF EXTERNAL POLITICAL AGENCIES OF TURKMENISTAN, AFGHANISTAN AND THE USA
On the 8th of October 2020, the first meeting in Turkmenistan-Islamic Republic of Afghanistan-USA format was held through videoconferencing in participation of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov, the U.S. Under Secretary for Political Affairs David Hale and the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Haneef Atmar.
During the meeting, the parties discussed a number of importance issues of political, trade-economic and humanitarian scope.
The parties agreed that the current inaugural meeting in the framework of the tripartite dialogue initiated by Turkmenistan is expected to give vital impulse for further discussion and resolution of cardinal issues of regional agenda, particularly on providing assistance to Afghanistan.
One of the main topics of the meeting was the advancement of intra-Afghan negotiations aimed at the cessation of multiyear armed conflict and establishment of peace in the region. In this regard, the firm position of Turkmenistan which is standing for the use of solely political and diplomatic tools for the attainment of peace and stability in the neighboring country was underlined. With this aim and in accordance with its principles of state neutrality, Turkmenistan is ready to provide its political space for holding the successive rounds of intra-Afghan negotiations.
The standpoint of Turkmenistan on security issues was presented. The country stands for the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy. In November of 2011, the Government of Turkmenistan and the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia organized a high-level meeting in Ashgabat during which the relevant Joint Action Plan was adopted. It was the first worldwide experience on the adaptation of the Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy to the specific region. Turkmenistan takes important steps in this direction and carries out close cooperation with the international partners on countering drug trafficking, strengthening of border security. In this context, the parties exchanged views on the enhancement of cooperation basis.
The parties touched upon the issues of social nature, including the facilitation of women’s equality and expansion of their economic rights and opportunities.
During the meeting, the parties also considered the opportunities for the development of trade relations between Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, the USA and the Central Asian region by enhancing the efficiency of customs and other procedures in accordance with the existing US-Central Asia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA).
In this context, the significance of the development of transport-transit routes and fuel-energy corridors was stated. Also, the cooperation on the effective use of Lapis-Lazuli route, including the determination of other transport projects on which Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the USA can work together to promote trade in the region were discussed.
The parties discussed the opportunities for joint implementation of infrastructural projects, including such energy projects as TAPI and TAP.
The opportunities for humanitarian collaboration are considered, including the coordination of actions on countering the current pandemic and crises in the area of public healthcare.
The parties agreed to continue active dialogue for the promotion of intercultural dialogue, strengthening of cooperation with the aim of providing peace, security and economic growth in the Central Asian region.
On the outcomes of the talks, the parties adopted a Joint Statement.