The first ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue between the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) and Central Asian countries took place in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh on Wednesday. The meeting resulted in the adoption of a Joint Statement and a Joint Action Plan for 2023-2027 (Road Map of joint cooperation) aimed at establishing practical cooperation in trade, investment, education, healthcare, culture and sports.
The participants discussed current aspects of the international agenda, regional security issues and further steps to establish future effective cooperation and partnership in trade, economy, investment, culture and science, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan said in its press release.
In his statement, the Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov said that Turkmenistan views the meeting as the first important step toward establishing a full-fledged format of cooperation between the Central Asian states and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
He emphasized that, according to Turkmenistan, this is the beginning of the process of systematization, streamlining and making the entire set of relations between the platform countries long-term and stable, which is demanded by the current realities and needs.
Within the framework of the Forum, the parties proposed to establish practical cooperation in the energy sector, transport corridors and logistics, as well as in ensuring food and water security and holding cultural, humanitarian and scientific events.
According to the Arab News newspaper, the ministers said that all necessary measures will be taken to ensure the rapid implementation of the plans to their fullest, at bilateral and multilateral levels.
They welcomed the invitation of Kazakhstan to host the first Economic Forum of GCC and Central Asian countries in Astana in June 2023, along with the invitation of Uzbekistan to hold the second ministerial meeting of the strategic dialogue in Samarkand next year.
The GCC is a regional, intergovernmental, political, and economic union that includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Its headquarters is located in Riyadh.