President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov held talks with President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, who arrived in Ashgabat on an official visit.
In the course of the one-on-one meeting followed by the talks with participation of the two delegations, the heads of state discussed the key areas of the Turkmen-Afghan cooperation, focusing on such aspects as fuel energy, electrical power engineering, transport and communications, trade, culture and education. In particular, the leaders of the two states exchanged views on the pace of construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, power transmission lines and fiber-optic communications along Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan and other issues.
The sides noted the progress in developing trade and economic relations. In fact, trade turnover between the two countries totaled some 684 million US dollars in 2018, which is much higher compared to 2017.
The sides also discussed issues of mutual interest relating to security and stability in the region. In this regard, the Turkmen leader stressed that Turkmenistan, as a neutral state and closest neighbor, is ready to support Afghanistan in establishing direct talks between the Afghan government and all parties interested in the settlement of the situation in the country by peaceful, political means.
Following the talks, the sides signed bilateral documents designed to promote the development of the Turkmen-Afghan partnership.
To the applause of the signing ceremony participants, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani signed the Treaty on Strategic Cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and Joint Statement.
The heads of state witnessed the signing of agreements on air service, on the place of the international railway crossing at the Turkmen-Afghan state border, on cooperation and mutual assistance in customs affairs. The sides also signed memorandums of understanding on development of cooperation in the oil and gas sector, on increasing the supplies of Turkmen electricity to the Afghan province of Herat, on construction of the Akina-Andkhoy railway, on cooperation between the Magtymguly Institute of Language and Literature and National Manuscripts of the Magtymguly Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan and the National Archive of Afghanistan. The side approved the regulations on railway communication between the stations of Etabat and Turgundi at the Turkmen-Afghani state border.
Then, the leaders of the two countries made statements for the mass media.
After that, the President of Turkmenistan hosted an official dinner in honor of the distinguished guest.
In the afternoon, the President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan visited the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, where he addressed the institute faculty and students.
Having completed his official visit to Turkmenistan, the Afghan leader proceeded to the Ashgabat International Airport and left for his home country.