The European Parliament delegation for Central Asia, chaired by Iveta Grigule and including the EP vice-president Ryzard Czarnecki, paid a visit to Ashgabat to hold the 4th EU-Turkmenistan Inter-Parliamentary Meeting and to meet a large number of high level interlocutors. The EU Special Representative for Central Asia, Ambassador Burian, joined the delegation along the EEAS representative in Turkmenistan, Lubomir Frebort.
In extensive meetings with Majlis members, the minister of foreign affairs, senior representatives of the Gas and Oil Ministry, the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, civil society organizations, religious leaders and others interlocutors, the Members of the European Parliament had a frank and comprehensive dialogue about the current status and the perspectives of the EU-Turkmenistan relations.
The discussions were particularly intensive over the human rights situation in the country, the need to strength the cooperation in fighting terror and radicalism and the positive role played by Turkmenistan in the region, the emphasis to relaunch regional cooperation on infrastructure projects, migration and environmental policies, and the priority need to quickly complete alternative and efficient routes for easing European access to Turkmen gas.
As stated by its chair MEP Iveta Grigule, "the EP delegation for Central Asia is convinced that the EU needs to upgrade its relations with Turkmenistan, starting with the opening of a full-fledged Delegation in Ashgabat and increasing the trade and energy joint agenda, while the Human Rights Dialogue must remain an essential element in the strengthening of the mutual cooperation".