On May 29, Turkmenistan celebrated a traditional holiday – the Day of Turkmen Carpet, which dates back to 1992. On this day, towns and cities in all regions host concerts, mass celebrations, festive exhibition of carpets and rugs. People honor the most skilled carpet weavers and award them with state awards and valuable gifts on behalf of the president of Turkmenistan. The main events of this festival were the Ashgabat-based International Exhibition of Turkmen Carpets, and the Sixteenth Conference of the World Association of Connoisseurs of Turkmen Carpets.
Turkmenistan opens up a promising direction of mutually beneficial business development to foreign investors, suggesting establishment of joint service companies specializing in servicing and repairing equipment related to the gas industry. According to the recent announcement by the Ministry of Oil and Gas of the country, the relevance of creating such joint ventures for repair and maintenance is associated with Turkmenistan's long-term plans in respect of development of gas processing and the gas industries.
As of May 19, 2016, the total volume of natural gas supplies from Turkmenistan to China through the pipeline “Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China” has amounted to $138.6 billion since the beginning of its operation. This and other figures were presented as part of the report delivered by a representative of the CNPC (China National Petroleum Corporation) during the 7th International Turkmenistan Gas Congress, which took place in “Avaza” on May 20-21.
Until May 29, 2016, Turkmenistan will be temporarily denying entry into its territory for foreign citizens coming under the simplified procedure, which is connected with the head of state's visit to the border areas of the republic. In addition, security measures on the border were also stepped up. Worth recalling, the citizens of some countries neighboring on Turkmenistan (e.g. Kazakhstan) who resided in the border areas (e.g.
Turkmenistan is negotiating with Azerbaijan on various options of supplying Turkmen natural gas to Europe via the pipeline system “Southern Gas Corridor.” According to Azerbaijan's Energy Minister Natig Aliyev, Turkmenistan has the opportunity to export to the west up to 30 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually. “Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan are currently negotiating on transportation of Turkmen gas to Europe through the 'Southern Gas Corridor',” he stressed.
The Government of Japan, the Saudi Fund for Development and the Islamic Development Bank are showing their interest towards financing of the TAPI project for construction of the major trans-national gas pipeline connecting Central Asian countries: Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan and India. Muhammetmurat Aman, head of the consortium “TAPI Pipeline Company,” announced this information while delivering a speech at the Seventh International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan.
Today, Turkmenistan attaches special importance to expansion of its business relations with the Republic of Korea, which is one of its major economic partners. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov made such a statement during the recent meeting with representatives of a number of large South Korean companies, as reported by the Turkmen government press service on May 19. In particular, the Korean side was represented at the meeting by CEO of LG International Corporation Ho Chi My Lai, and CEO of Hyundai Engineering Chul Kim Wee.
On May 20-21, 2016, the eighth International Gas Congress of Turkmenistan will be held in the territory of the international tourist zone “Avaza.” Within its framework, there will be organized a round table to discuss the issues related to attracting investments in the TAPI project. According to the announcement published by the Turkmen government on May 16, the event will be participated by representatives of international organizations, government agencies, ministries and departments, as well as oil and gas companies from 37 countries.
For three days, the capital of Turkmenistan hosted a high-level forum on the theme “Central Asia and the multilateral trading system.” The event was organized by the Ministry of Development and the Economy of the Republic, jointly with the United Nations Economic Commission and the World Trade Organization. According to the country's state news agency, the foreign Forum participants were representatives of countries that are members of the SPECA, the UN Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia.
In three districts of Herat Province (Afghanistan) that border on Turkmenistan, there is going on the military operation against the armed groups of the Taliban, which was launched on May 8, 2016. According to the local media, the situation in the western region of Afghanistan remains tense on the whole. In particular, this applies to the areas along the state border between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. According to the command staff of the government forces and representatives of the local authorities, there is a high concentration of militants, including foreign fighters.
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The death of President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov literally caused a flurry of comments of experts of different caliber, who were almost unanimously expressing concerns about the future of both the country and the entire Central Asian region. There were expressed opinions that contained varying degrees of concern regarding the possible exacerbation of the struggle between clans for power in Tashkent. That would threaten regional security, considering the information available about the penetration of radical Islam in Central Asia.
In the middle of 2015, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Ashgabat on a two-day visit. The voyage was scheduled for mid-October, but it was postponed due to the terrorist attacks in Ankara. Much changed during those two months. There were held parliamentary elections in Ankara, where Erdogan's party won a landslide victory; after the incident with the downed aircraft, the relations between Turkey and Russia were severely strained. Turkey started to look for new gas suppliers.
Quite recently, the Turkmen-Turkish cooperation in the field of cultural exchanges was viewed by the two countries as a progressive and useful one. There were opened several dozens of Turkmen-Turkish schools, a Turkish primary school, the educational center “Bashkent,” and the International Turkmen-Turkish University. In addition, thousands of Turkmen students are studying in Turkish universities. More than 10,000 Turkish citizens are currently living in Turkmenistan. About 500,000 of our compatriots are residing in Turkey.