EU reaffirms progress on human rights of paramount importance for relations with Turkmenistan

EU reaffirms progress on human rights of paramount importance for relations with Turkmenistan

AKIPRESS.COM – The European Union and Turkmenistan held their 20th meeting of the Joint Committee on October 21, 2021 by videoconference. The joint committee reviewed the progress made in relations between the EU and Turkmenistan over the past year, in particular in the areas of trade, economic development and development cooperation. The two sides reaffirmed their commitment to enhance cooperation in a manner that promotes mutual interests.

The EU and Turkmenistan discussed the macroeconomic situation in the EU and Turkmenistan, both heavily influenced by the global Covid-19 pandemic. The EU said the economy has returned to recovery, showing strong growth in the second quarter of 2021. Turkmenistan presented its economic situation as stable with an increase in foreign trade of 13.8% this year. The EU also underlined the importance of comparable, reliable and up-to-date statistical data for political decisions and encouraged Turkmenistan to actively cooperate in the field of statistics.

The EU is Turkmenistan’s fourth largest trading partner. Most of Turkmenistan’s exports to the EU are products related to hydrocarbons. As the EU and other trading partners will decarbonise their economies and decrease imports of hydrocarbons, Turkmenistan needs to diversify its trade. The EU encouraged Turkmenistan to continue and accelerate its process of joining the WTO, which will facilitate the diversification of its economy.

The EU took stock of the latest energy-related developments, in particular legislative proposals (the so-called “Fit for 55 package”) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 55% d ‘by 2030 with the goal of climate neutrality by 2050 The EU has encouraged Turkmenistan to join the Global Methane Pledge initiative launched in September 2021 by President von der Leyen and President Biden. Countries that adhere to the Commitment commit to a collective goal of reducing global methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030. Meeting the Commitment would reduce warming by at least 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050.

The EU and Turkmenistan reviewed recently completed and ongoing bilateral and regional programs, including in the areas of education and vocational training, public administration reform, economic and financial cooperation , investment, trade, environment, climate change, energy and security. The EU recalled that successful development cooperation requires mutual commitment and active participation of project beneficiaries. In the years 2021-2027, bilateral cooperation with Turkmenistan will focus on the green aspects of the economy and improving the business climate. A new phase of the Erasmus + program will continue to provide opportunities for cooperation and mobility in higher education open to Turkmenistan. The EU welcomed Turkmenistan’s participation in the EU-UNESCO Silk Road Heritage Corridors in Central Asia project and the regional initiative on the development of cross-border tourist routes launched in September 2021.

Following the EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue of July 2021, the EU reaffirmed that progress on human rights is of utmost importance for EU-Turkmenistan relations and in particular for the ratification of the EU-Turkmenistan Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) by the European Union. Parliament.

The EU delegation was led by Mr Luc Devigne, Deputy Director General for Russia, Eastern Partnership, Central Asia, Regional Cooperation and OSCE of the European External Action Service. The delegation of Turkmenistan was led by Mr. Muhammentgeldi Serdarov, Minister of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan

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