Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry Received Austrian Ambassador
Turkmenistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs received Austrian Ambassador, head of the Austrian the Department for Eastern and Southern Europe, South Caucasus and Central Asia of the Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs, Gurer Heidemarie, to discuss the Turkmen-Austrian cooperation. During the meeting, representatives of the Foreign Ministry and the Ambassador defined priority areas for cooperation in trade, economy, and the energy sector, as well as through international organizations. The Ambassador invited Turkmenistan’s representative to take part in the 5th Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations to be held in Vienna on 26 - 28 February this year.
Turkmenistan and Saudi Arabia study prospects of cooperation
President Berdymukhamedov received the Advisor to the Minister of Interior of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Saad bin Khaled Al Saud to discuss prospects of bilateral cooperation. "Saudi Arabia sincerely values the ties of friendship and fruitful cooperation with Turkmenistan and enthusiastically perceives achievements of the Turkmen people on the way of large-scale progressive reforms," Mohammed bin Saad bin Khaled Al Saud said. The Turkmen leader noted the constructive intergovernmental dialogue and potential for developing cooperation between the two countries. Both countries are exploring partnership opportunities in fuel and energy, production of cement and other building materials, as well as in agriculture, including animal husbandry and cultivation of grain and forage crops.
Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry Received Iranian Customs Service Delegation
Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry received a delegation from Iran’s Customs Service, according to the Ministry’s press-service. Meeting participants discussed Iran- Turkmen customs relations. The Iranian delegation also met with representatives of Turkmenistan’s State Customs Service and State Migration Service.
Cooperation deal signed by Qatar and Turkmenistan
President Berdymukhamedov received the Chairman of the Administrative Control and Transparency Authority H E Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, the head of the Qatari delegation who came to Ashgabat to participate in the first meeting of the Intergovernmental Turkmen-Qatari Commission for Trade and economic Cooperation. Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov and Qatar’s Ambassador to Iran and Non-resident envoy in Ashgabat, Ibrahim bin Abdulrahman Al Mighaseibalso, took part in the meeting. Berdymukhamedov and Al Attiyah discussed cooperation in trade, economy, fuel and energy, transport, agriculture, textile, education, science, sports, and tourism. Al Attiyah stressed that Qatari businesses circles are interested in expanding their presence on the Turkmen market. Source: thepeninsulaqatar.com
President of Turkmenistan Receives Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine
President Berdymukhamedov received Deputy Prime Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Boyko, who headed a delegation for the meeting of the Turkmen-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission for Economic Cooperation. Berdymukhamedov and Boiko noted their intentions to develop cooperation in priority areas such as fuel and energy, trade and economy, metallurgy, transportation, urban development, agriculture, and education.
USAID Supports Diplomatic Protocol and Negotiation Skills Course in Turkmenistan
On January 28, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, launched a five-day course entitled “Diplomatic Protocol and Negotiation Skills,” designed to highlight the best international practices in diplomacy and diplomatic protocol. The course has five leading specialists from the United States and the International School of Protocol and Diplomacy in Belgium sharing expertise on diplomatic procedures, etiquette, and essential negotiating skills with officials from various local government agencies. The course, which falls under USAID’s Governance Strengthening Project, is being conducted for over sixty participants, including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Economy and Development, Ministry of Agriculture, and Ministry of Communications.
Source: US Embassy
Turkmenistan-UN Strategic Advisory Board Held Meeting
Turkmenistan’s Foreign Ministry circulated a press release regarding a meeting of the Turkmenistan-UN Strategic Advisory Board held at the Foreign Ministry of Turkmenistan on 31 January 2013. The meeting participants discussed the prospects of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the UN agencies and offices working in Turkmenistan, such as UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, UNHCR, UNODC, and a number of other UN affiliated agencies.
Is Turkmenistan Selling Iranian Oil To Americans In Afghanistan?
A new US government report says that fuel for Afghanistan's security forces, paid for by the US, may include Iranian fuel in contravention of US sanctions -- and implies that Turkmenistan may be to blame. The report is by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a US. government oversight agency that investigates possible abuse of US funds in Afghanistan. While Afghanistan gets a majority of its fuel supplies from neighboring Iran, for fuel that the US buys -- which includes that for the security forces -- suppliers have to abide by US regulations prohibiting commerce with Iran. The companies that buy the fuel are Afghan-owned, but most of the fuel comes from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan, with lesser amounts coming from Russia and Uzbekistan. But, as the report notes, that fuel is often "blended" from different sources by the suppliers, and the oversight mechanisms that ensure that no Iranian oil is included are weak. Apparently undeterred, the Pentagon says that it spent over $800 million in Turkmenistan over the last year, most likely on fuel. How much of that might be Iranian? We'll probably never know.
Turkmenistan Third From Bottom in Reporters Without Borders Press Freedom Index
International non-profit organization Reporters Without Borders published its annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2013, rating the state of press freedom in 179 countries over the past year. The same three European countries that topped the list last year hold the top three spots this year. For the third year running, Finland distinguished itself as a country enshrining media freedom, followed by the Netherlands and Norway. Although many criteria are taken into consideration, ranging from enabling legislation to violence against journalists, democratic countries occupy the top of the index while dictatorial countries occupy the bottom three positions. Again it is the same three as last year – Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea.
Source: Reporters Without Borders