The Head of the FDFA commenced her tour of Central Asia with meetings in Turkmenistan

Bern, Press release, 05.10.2009

Federal Councillor Micheline Calmy-Rey was welcomed to Ashgabat today by the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and met the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rashid Meredov. The discussions centred on bilateral relations, the political situation in the region and on the role of Turkmenistan in the energy field.

Talks focused on the development of political relations with Turkmenistan, a member of the Swiss voting group in the Bretton Woods institutions (International Monetary Fund, World Bank). Turkmenistan has considerable natural gas reserves, and questions relating to cooperation with Europe in the energy field were also addressed.  

Moreover, the partners confirmed that economic relations between the two countries entail significant potential. From this point of view, the conclusion of a cooperation and trade agreement, which would supplement the agreement on protection of investments, which came into force in April 2009, was also discussed by the two ministers of foreign affairs. 

The two parties also talked about their cooperation in a number of multilateral bodies. They mentioned regional projects which are being implemented under the aegis of the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. They also discussed the evaluation of Turkmenistan of the UN Human Rights Council’s "Universal Periodic Review." Micheline Calmy-Rey encouraged the Turkmen government to bring the administration of its justice and penitentiary systems into line with international standards. Afghanistan and the policy of international rapprochement pursued by Turkmenistan were also discussed. 

Ms Calmy-Rey also met the Speaker of the Parliament, Ms Akdja Nurberdiyeva. On Tuesday, the Head of the FDFA will be in Tajikistan before continuing her Central Asian tour in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Kirgyzstan.

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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs