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Turkmenistan respects Moscow interests in Central Asia — president

October 02, 18:15 UTC+3

Ashgabat is ready for close cooperation with Moscow, the Turkmen president says

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Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

Turkmen president Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov

© Mikhail Metzel/TASS

ASHGABAT, October 2. /TASS/. Ashgabat is ready for close cooperation with Moscow on issues of ensuring security in Central Asia, it respects Russia’s interests in the region, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on Monday.

"I would like to note that we respect and understand Russia’s interests in Central Asia. We are always ready to continue close and consistent cooperation in this respect, seeing it as a stabilizing element making the region more stable and balanced," the president said at talks with visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He also suggested discussing the situation in Afghanistan, stressing that both Moscow and Ashgabat seek the Afghan settlement through peaceful and diplomatic ways. "Afghanistan is our good neighbor," the Turkmen leader said.

He also thanked the Russian president for the stance of Moscow, which "always supports Turkmenistan’s policy on the international arena - the policy of neutrality".

"Due to this, we have a lot of coinciding or close approaches in international affairs," Berdymukhamedov said, stressing also "a huge potential for joint actions" of the two countries.

Moscow’s and Ashgabat’s positions on most of the international problems are either close or similar, Putin said. 

According to the Russian leader, the meeting was held in a constructive atmosphere. "We noted that our view on practically all international problems either coincide or are very close," Putin stressed, adding that they had exchanged opinion of the most important and most pressing matters, such as problems on the post-Soviet territory and the situation in Afghanistan.

Serious attention, in his words, was focused on economic and humanitarian ties between the two countries. The Russian leader said he was sure that all the plans outlined in the documents that had been signed after Monday’s talks would be implemented.

The Turkmen leader, in turn, also noted that the two countries have close or identical positions on many issues of the international and regional agenda. He said that among the topics for discussion was cooperation in the Caspian Sea. Both sides, in his words, reiterated their commitment to plans of expanding trade-and-economic cooperation. Turkmenistan is interested in the activities of big Russian companies on its territory, Berdymukhamedov emphasized.

Putin has thanked his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov for supporting the Russian language in the republic.

Speaking at a ceremony to award the Order of Alexander Nevsky to the Turkmen leader, Putin called him an advocate of most close partnership relations between the two states. The president said special thanks to the Turkmen counterpart for his attention to the Russian language. "It is nowadays taught at most Turkmen schools. The Russian language is widely used in Turkmenistan as means of interethnic communication," Putin said, stressing that it helps to bolster bilateral ties.

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