Mr. Lubomir Frebort, Charge d’Affaires a.i. of the European Union mission to Ashgabat, gave an exclusive interview to ORIENT during the forum in Ashgabat dedicated to the importance of Turkmen neutrality in the world.
– It is gratifying to participate in such an important event – an International Conference with the participation of the President of Turkmenistan. I would like to note that in July last year, relations between Turkmenistan and the EU reached a new level – in Turkmenistan it was opened the EU Representative Office, that will help us to cooperate more intensively and widely in many fields, such as security, transport and communications, energy, and cooperation in the field of natural gas exports and imports.
– Strategically, cooperation between the EU and Turkmenistan follows two directions – the relationship between the EU and Asian countries and the EU’s work in Central Asia, and roadmaps will be developed in both directions. This year, we plan to hold a Symposium in Turkmenistan with the participation of EU special representatives for Central Asia, representatives of various government institutions and a private sector. Furthermore, we are currently working on the technical justifications of the EU’s Central Asian strategy and its implementation, and we are doing this together with our partners in Turkmenistan.
– As for cooperation on regional security issues, we have a common interest in stabilizing the situation in Afghanistan, and this is one of the most important issues for the EU.
– Water diplomacy and water security are also the priority areas of our cooperation with the government of Turkmenistan. This year, it will begin the second phase of the project on food and water security, and we support the UNDP activities in this direction.
“We also work a lot in the field of energy, discuss different options for delivering Turkmen gas to Europe and continue an intensive dialogue on the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline,” added Lubomir Frebort.
In response to a question about his impressions of the First Caspian Economic Forum in Avaza, Mr. Frebort said, “It was a very important event for us, it was attended by the EU special representative for Central Asia, Peter Burian, and the most important conclusion that we made for ourselves after this event is that the Caspian Economic Forum offers huge opportunities for investments. The Caspian region is an important transport artery between Europe and Asia, and it seems to me that the EU has gained an understanding with Turkmenistan on the issue of the Black Sea-Caspian Sea Transport Corridor.”