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Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan to Develop Economic and Cultural Cooperation

Friday 10 May 2013

ASTANA (World Bulletin) – Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan intend to develop trade and economic relations, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev said following the talks with his Turkmen counterpart Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on Friday in Astana. Berdymukhamedov began his visit to Kazakhstan on May 10.

“The visit demonstrates the mutual desire to develop these fraternal relations and raise trade and economic relations to a new level,” Nazarbayev said. According to the Kazakh President, the parties discussed the issues of cross-border investment cooperation between two countries. After talks with his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, on May 10, Kazakh President told journalists in Astana the new railway eventually will be extended to connect the two Caspian states with the countries of the Persian Gulf.

Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan are slated to inaugurate a joint railway project which will connect the rail networks of the three countries soon. According to Fars-News, The presidents of the three countries will officially inaugurate the Iran-Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan railway network in coming days. The joint railway network, dubbed as the Caspian Sea Eastern Rail Corridor, is more than 900 km in length, including 140 km in Kazakhstan, 700 km in Turkmenistan, and 90 km in Iran. The railway will link Iran to Turkmenistan and then to Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan and will connect the CIS countries with the Indian Ocean and high seas and the Persian Gulf littoral states.

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a number of documents on cooperation within the talks of the Presidents of two countries. In particular the parties signed an agreement between Kazakh and Turkmen national academies of sciences and a Memorandum of Cooperation between Kazakh and Turkmen railways. Moreover, telecommunication companies of two countries – Kazakhtelecom and Turkmentelecom – are planning to sign an agreement on the fibre link.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that the talks in Astana “reaffirmed commitment to constant expansion of cooperation, strengthening of good-neighbourly relations between the countries.” Kazakhstan is Turkmenistan’s important and reliable partner in the region, Berdimuhamedov added.

The Kazakh-Turkmen bilateral trade turnover almost doubled in 2012 compared to the previous year and hit $345 mln. “We agreed to expand our cooperation in the economic sphere, support increasing and diversifying of bilateral trade and mutual investment, develop partnerships, as well as in such spheres as satellite communications and telecommunications,” Berdimuhamedov said. The priority spheres of bilateral cooperation are energy and transport, he said.

Within the talks, the presidents agreed to develop humanitarian, cultural and scientific relations between the countries. “The cooperation between Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan is directed to the future, it will be developed in all spheres – it meets the interests of the two countries and peoples.”

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