The European Union will open its 142nd Delegation in the world and will complete its diplomatic presence in Central Asia by opening a fully-fledged EU Delegation in Ashgabat.
"This is a sign of commitment of the European Union to increase our partnership and cooperation in many different fields," EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Saturday at the signing ceremony of the Establishing Agreement for a European Union Delegation to Turkmenistan.
Mogherini said she had "a very intense, productive and positive meeting" with Rashid Meredov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, covering the whole range of areas of cooperation.
"In particular with the Minister we have discussed our common approaches to stabilize and bring peace and development to Afghanistan: a common commitment that we share," Mogherini said at the ceremony in Ashgabat.
Foreign Affairs Minister of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov said "the document signed on Saturday opens a wide scope for diplomatic cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan at a new level".
"We also discussed issues related to the transportation of energy resources, and other large-scale and long-term economic projects initiated and implemented by Turkmenistan together with the neigbouring countries in this regard," Meredov told journalists.
"Of course, our negotiations included the issues of expanding cooperation between the EU countries and Turkmenistan in the fields of education, culture and science," Meredov said.
Turkmenistan's top diplomat described the Saturday's event as "the beginning of a very important new stage in the effective dialogue between Turkmenistan and European Union".
According to a statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan after the meeting, Turkmen and EU officials discussed the key vectors of the new EU Strategy for Central Asia which emphasizes the vital role of regional cooperation, social and economic development, energy security, creation of pleasant investment climate and joint resolution of ecological issues.
The parties also discussed important projects in the field of transportation systems and regional energy infrastructure, including the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both sides confirmed their commitment to the implementation of joint strategic goals.
Federica Mogherini was also received by the Chairwoman of the Parliament (Mejlis) of Turkmenistan during her visit to Turkmenistan.
The EU Delegation in Ashgabat is scheduled to open as of September this year.