The Second meeting of the Forum of Arab Economic Cooperation with the countries of Central Asia and the Republic of Azerbaijan was held in Dushanbe on 16October 2017. This Forum was established by the Custodian of the two holy Mosques, former King of Saudi Arabia deceased Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud and the Resolution on its First Session was adopted at the 130th Session of the League of Arab States on 8 September 2008.
The First Session of the Arab Cooperation and Economic Forum with Central Asia and Azerbaijan at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Economy and Finance subtitled “Prospect of Cooperation in Investment and Commercial Exchange” was held in Riyadh of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on May 14, 2014. The participating states discussed various issues of political, economic and commercial cooperation and adopted the Riyadh Declaration at the conclusion. Furthermore, Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation between the Arab League, Central Asian countries and Azerbaijan was signed.These documents laid a solid foundation for development of long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation between these countries.
The Forum’s main objective is to ensure political deliberations and discuss economic, commercial, cultural and scientific cooperation issues. The Forum’s platform makes it possible for the Arab world, Central Asia and Azerbaijan to use all available opportunities of the Region, including in energy, transport, industry, agriculture, investment, oil and gas processing, tourism, science and culture and implement joint projects.
Tajikistan attaches a particular importance to boosting its international relations, particularly with the Arab world, Central Asia and Azerbaijan. Participation and statement by the the Founder and National Peace and Unity, the Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon at the Opening Ceremony of this Forum reflects the commitment and efforts of Tajikistan for further strengthening of mutually beneficial relations. President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon clearly outlined his view on the need for enhancement of economic cooperation, promotion of mutually beneficial investments and implementation of joint projects and emphasized that real cooperation and mutual understanding is the only factor of solution to challenges not only in individual countries, but the entire region and the world. President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon received the Secretary General of the League of Arab States H.E. Ahmed Aboul Ggeit and Heads of Delegation within the Dushanbe Forum. The Secretary General of the League of Arab States and more than 100 representatives from the majority of Arab countries, Central Asia and Azerbaijan participated in the Second Session of the Forum. The Forum participating states deliberated on various political and economic issues, and discussed the main aspects of mutually beneficial cooperation in the fields of energy, renewable energy sources, commerce, transport and communications, industry and construction, agriculture and food production, latest communication technologies, human development and education, tourism, intellectual property rights protection, scientific research and other important issues.
The Forum participating states agreed that with a view to establishing direct commercial relations between the entrepreneurs and investors the First Conference of Entrepreneurs and Investors would be held in an Arab country in the nearest future.
The Forum participating states attached a particular attention to Tajikistan’s initiative on the launch of International Decade for Action “Water for Sustainable Development (2018-2028)” and agreed to hold an international symposium on energy, environment and green economy in an Arab country.
Despite the fact that the Forum mostly focuses on economic issues, I would like to emphasize that we will not be able to implement our economic plans without ensuring security, peace and stability in the countries of the Region. Therefore, the discussions on important political and security was one of the central topics of the Forum. The participants discussed the issues related to the respect of sovereignty and protection of territorial integrity of states, supported peaceful conflict resolution and noninterference into the internal affairs of the states, as well as the need for cooperation between the countries on collective counteraction to terrorism and other contemporary challenges and threats.
The Forum participating states emphasized the need for enhancement of cooperation in education, science, culture and mass media via establishment of joint cultural TV and radio networks, hosting conferences and symposia and other necessary events.
All of these points are reflected in the Forum’s final document – Dushanbe Declaration.
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