IFAS Summit Shows Sides’ Focus on Equal Cooperation
24 August 2018

The outcomes of the Summit of the Heads of the IFAS Founding Countries were voiced at the meeting of the Presidents of the five Central Asian countries with the media.

The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev; the President of the Kyrgyz Republic, Sooronbay Jeenbekov; the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon; the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, arrived in Turkmenistan to attend the Summit.

The initial meeting in restricted format was later followed by the expanded session with members of the delegations. After the Summit the Presidents adopted the joint statement and addressed the press.

Commenting on the outcomes of the work of the Council of the Heads of the IFAS Founding States, the President of Turkmenistan thanked his foreign colleagues for the substantive exchange of views, constructivism and focus on attaining concrete results.

The meeting was held in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and transparency, was of an extremely specific nature, said the Turkmen leader. The sides engaged in a detailed discussion of various aspects of the IFAS activity, the vectors and prospects of the future joint work to improve the organization.

The importance of strengthening the cooperation between the IFAS and the United Nations and attributing a systematic and long-term character to that collaboration were specifically highlighted. The adoption on 12 April of the current year of the UN GA Resolution on Cooperation between the United Nations and the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea, initiated by Turkmenistan, will give substance to such collaboration. Turkmenistan advocates for the provisions of this document to be implemented precisely and promptly, said the head of state

In the context of cooperation between the IFAS and international structures, the importance of outlining the problems of the Aral Sea as a separate activity within the United Nations was stressed. Turkmenistan proposed this back in June 2012 at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro (Rio+20). We called it the UN Special Program for the Aral, which could include concrete plans to stabilize and improve the situation in the Aral Sea basin, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

We also support the promotion of water diplomacy as a new form of multilateral political and diplomatic communication on water issues, continued the head of state, and emphasized that such cooperation is pertinent primarily in the context of implementing the Sustainable Development Goals.

As of immediate cooperation between the Central Asian states in terms of water-related and environmental issues, the position of the Turkmen side remains unchanged. Our country stands for resolution of these matters on the basis of universally recognized norms of international law, with regard for the interests of all countries of the region and with participation of international organizations.

Overall, the Summit showed that our countries are firmly focused on joint equal and respectful cooperation in terms of tackling the Aral problems, and even wider, across the whole range of environmental issues in the region, said President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov. Today, all participants demonstrated the high level of responsibility, the understanding of the importance of tasks we are facing, and the awareness of the commonality of goals and interests of our countries in the context of resolving pertinent environmental, socio-economic and humanitarian issues.

The head of Turkmenistan reiterated his gratitude to the Presidents of the IFAS founding countries for their active participation in the meeting, and thanked the experts, specialists and diplomats of all countries who contributed to the successful work of the current Summit.