On November 17, 2022, the delegation of Turkmenistan headed by the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Vepa Hajiyev took part in the 18th Meeting of the heads of the foreign affairs agencies of the states of Central Asia and the European Union, held in Samarkand.

The EU delegation was headed by Vice-President of the European Commission and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell.

During the meeting, the heads of foreign affairs agencies and heads of delegations discussed topical interregional and global issues, including economic, trade and investment cooperation, interaction in the areas of environmental protection, water use and climate, as well as education, science and innovation.

The head of the Turkmen delegation noted in his speech that the current meeting is taking place a few weeks after the first Summit in the format "European Union - Central Asia", and that the Joint Statement adopted at the end of the summit meeting serves as the basis for today's discussions and, in our opinion, should become starting point for our further discussions on a wide range of multilateral interactions.

V. Hajiyev stressed that this important document paid special attention to the need to strengthen the principles laid down in the Charter of the United Nations, in particular the principles of peaceful political and diplomatic settlement of international disputes.

Promoting the philosophy of trust-based dialogue in international relations, Turkmenistan proposed to the UN General Assembly to consider a draft resolution on declaring 2023 the International Year of Dialogue as a Guarantee of Peace. At the end of November this year, this document is expected to be adopted by the UN General Assembly.

Taking the opportunity, the head of the delegation of Turkmenistan invited colleagues from Central Asia and the European Union to take part in the upcoming Ashgabat International Week in the second decade of December, in particular, in the Conference “Dialogue is a Guarantee of Peace”, which will be held in the Turkmen capital on December 11 this year.

The heads and representatives of the foreign affairs agencies of the EU and Central Asian states also discussed security issues, including the situation in Afghanistan, border management, combating terrorism, extremism, smuggling and drug trafficking.

The next ministerial meeting in the European Union-Central Asia format will be held in 2023 in Brussels.