ASHGABAT (Dispatches) – Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Wednesday highlighted Iran’s policy of expansion of relations with neighbors as attended the sixth summit of Caspian states here.
President Raisi told chairman of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow that his administration has devised special plans in its foreign policy to broaden relations with neighbors.
“In this regard, relations between Iran and Turkmenistan are growing rapidly on the basis of broad cooperation and mutual trust,” he said.
For his part, Berdimuhamedow lauded Iran’s efforts to strengthen relations with Turkmenistan.
Referring to the commonalities and ample capacities of Turkmenistan and Iran in the political, economic, trade and cultural arenas, the former Turkmen president said his country seeks to open a new chapter in the ties with Iran.
President Raisi also met his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev, saying the Islamic Republic of Iran has proved that it is a friend of the neighbors in the difficult days and never leaves its friends alone in the difficulties.
The Iranian president said existing capacities in the two countries are much higher than the current level of relations between the two countries, saying the two neighbors need to make optimal use of these capacities to expand cooperation between the two countries in political, economic, cultural and trade fields.
Raisi touched on Iran’s high-level capabilities in the field of technical and engineering services, including in the field of energy and civil engineering, saying they are suitable for expanding cooperation between the two countries as well as developing interactions of the Caspian littoral states.
The Iranian president also emphasized that the presence of the occupying regime of Israeli in the region create tensions and does not benefit the security of the region in any way, adding that security in the region can only be achieved with the cooperation of the region and Caspian neighbors.
Russian President Vladimir Putin also urged the leaders of the Caspian states to strengthen cooperation in politics, security, the economy and the environment.
Speaking at the 2022 Summit of the Caspian States in Turkmenistan’s capital of Ashgabat, Putin said Russia “has always been in favor” of deepening the partnership relations of the Caspian “five” -- Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.
The Russian leader supported the idea of Kazakh and Azerbaijani presidents increasing the capacity for a rapid response to natural and man-made incidents in the Caspian Sea.
He suggested holding a meeting of the countries -- signatories of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea, also known as the 2003 Tehran Convention, which serves as a legal basis for addressing different issues in the Caspian region.
Putin noted the necessity to address ecological problems, including the reduction of the sturgeon population and the protection of marine mammals and birds for the purification of seawater.
Moscow is for speeding up the implementation of already signed documents on such important areas as the fight against terrorism and organized crime and the prevention of maritime crimes, he said.
Russia considers the main tasks of the countries included in the Caspian “five” to continue building economic ties, he said.
“In this context, the significant role assigned to the Caspian Economic Forum, created with the initiative of the ex-President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov,” he said. “The first such event took place in 2019 in Turkmenbashi. And it is planned to hold the second forum in Moscow in the autumn. I am grateful to my colleagues for supporting this proposal.”
Caspian countries have a lot to do to improve the transport infrastructure, which in turn will contribute to the development of tourism in the region, said Putin.
He invited the other leaders to consider the possibility of organizing cultural projects, including a film festival.