On November 2-3, 2017, the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, paid a visit to Dushanbe, the capital city of the Republic of Tajikistan, where he was welcomed by his Tajik counterpart, Emomali Rahmon. On this occasion, the two heads of state signed a strategic partnership agreement between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Tajikistan.
The two presidents also held bilateral talks regarding the expansion of the cooperation within international organizations such as the United Nations (UN) or the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), of which both states are participants, underlying the importance of ensuring peace and stability in Central Asia by avoiding conflict situations and solving existing issues through political and diplomatic means. Furthermore, the delegations of the two states debated the current situation faced by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, concluding that this can be solved only through peaceful, political means and being in favour of the provision of international support to the Afghan government.
Moreover, the Turkmen President stated that there are important perspectives for the development of cooperation between the two states in the area of energy, the new energy facilities built in Turkmenistan allowing for the provision of electricity in Tajikistan via Afghanistan, should the Tajik part express its interest. He also mentioned that, during bilateral talks, both states maintained their commitment to building the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Tajikistan railway corridor.
Along with the Joint Declaration and Agreement on strategic partnership between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Tajikistan, the following agreements were also signed:
- The Agreement between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Tajikistan on the Principles of Indirect Taxation during Import and Export of Goods, Works and Services;
- The Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on Long-term Trade and Economic Cooperation;
- The Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on Mutual Recognition of Educational Documents;
- The Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on Cooperation in Agriculture;
- The Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on Cooperation in Civil Defence, Prevention and Mitigation of Emergency Situations;
- The Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on Recognition of Construction Licenses;
- The Program of Cooperation in Cultural and Art Spheres between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan for 2018 – 2020;
- The Protocol on Amendments of the Agreement between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of Tajikistan on Construction of the Building (complex of buildings) of Magtumguly Secondary School in farmers association Ergash Sultanov, Jilikul district, Hatlonsk Region of the Republic of Tajikistan;
- The Agreement between City Administration of Ashgabat and Government Administration of Dushanbe on Establishment of Fraternal Relations between Ashgabat and Dushanbe;
- The Agreement on Cooperation between Administration of Lebap Velayat (Turkmenistan) and Administration of Hatlonsk Region (the Republic of Tajikistan);
- Memorandum of Understanding between the Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs of Turkmenistan and State Unitary Enterprise “Tajinvest” under the State Committee for Investments and Management of the Government Property of the Republic of Tajikistan.
During 2017, Turkmenistan also closed strategic partnerships with the Russian Federation (October), the Republic of Azerbaijan (August), the Republic of Kazakhstan (April) and the Republic of Uzbekistan (March). At the same time, the People’s Republic of China is one of Turkmenistan’s strategic partners since 2013. According to an article published by The Jamestown Foundation, the strategic partnerships that have been signed between Central Asia countries can be seen as a manner in which states confirm the absence of major problems at the level of bilateral relations and show that they are prepared to extend their economic cooperation. Moreover, this can be interpreted as a substitute for an intra-regional organization in Central Asia that is currently non-existent.