European Union to Open a New Delegation in Turkmenistan

European Union to Open a New Delegation in Turkmenistan

The European Union is in talks with Turkmenistan to open a representation of the EU in Turkmenistan to strengthen cooperation, the Turkmen Foreign Affairs ministry said in a statement.

During his visit to Ashgabat, the EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Peter Burian hold talks at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan to reiterate the European Union’s interest to further develop cooperation in logistics, transportation, energy and humanitarian relations.

“In this context, in order to strengthen cooperation, the issue of opening a representation of the European Union in Turkmenistan was emphasized,” the statement says.

The sides also discussed the priorities of the Turkmenistan Presidency at the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, the security situation in Central Asia and Afghanistan, and the projects of Turkmenistan to create a Caspian Sea - Black Sea transit corridor, including Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania transport route intended to ensure the access of goods from Central Asian countries to European markets.

The visit comes after Federica Mogherini, the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, received the delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov in Brussels in October 2018. The delegation also held talks with Maros Sefcovic, the European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union.

“Fast changing regional dynamics and the growing importance of sustainable connectivity between Europe and Asia bring Central Asia to the center of our attention,” Mogherini said in a statement released in November 2018.

Mogherini said that the countries in the region, especially Turkmenistan, are increasingly looking to the EU as a reliable partner for reforms, modernization and to face the global challenges of today and noted that the European Union is keen as well to strengthen its cooperation with the region.

“By opening a new Delegation, we are responding positively to these demands and sending a strong signal to the Turkmen and European citizens about our engagement,” the EU’s top diplomat Mogherini said.

The decision by the High Representative to open a representation of the EU in Turkmenistan is expected to be implemented in the course of 2019.

The export of Turkmen natural gas to European markets remains a priority for both Ashgabat and Brussels. Turkmenistan continues to work on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project to diversify its energy export markets.