President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev delivered a welcoming speech to the participants of the Organization of Turkic States summit, which is taking place in Samarkand.
"Today we are all going through difficult challenges of acute geopolitical conflicts, the global economic crisis and the negative consequences of climate change. Therefore, in the current dangerous situation, it is extremely important for our countries to determine common approaches and coordinate efforts to solve the most pressing problems", he said.
The Uzbek leader also mentioned economic cooperation within the framework of the organization, the expansion of mutual trade. In addition to this, the Head of the republic put forward an initiative to establish New Economic Opportunities Space on the territory of the member countries.
"I propose to hold an annual International Turkic Economic Forum with the participation of member countries and observers of the Organization, as well as with leading world companies", Mirziyoyev said.
He spoke about the need to preserve the study of the ancient Turkic civilization's priceless heritage and its transfer to future generations. At the initiative of the President of Uzbekistan, 2023 has been declared the Year of the Development of the Turkic Civilization in the OTS.
Speaking at the summit, Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that Ankara was ready for active cooperation with the Turkic states in all areas. Erdoğan emphasized areas of particular importance for cooperation within the OTS: trade, transport and energy.
"Our countries are at the crossroads of strategically important routes, including in the energy sector. The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline project is one of the most successful at the global level. We attach particular importance to the implementation of joint energy projects", he said.
At the same time, Erdoğan announced the need to implement the project of the Turkic Investment Fund formation. He also called for cooperation in the scientific field.
Touching upon the situation in the South Caucasus, Erdoğan said that Türkiye supports Azerbaijan in the search for peace in the region, just like it was next to Baku in its struggle for the liberation of territories.
In addition to this, the Head of the republic drew attention to the Ukrainian crisis. According to him, Türkiye is making great efforts to achieve a ceasefire and end the conflict through negotiations. At the same time, as Erdoğan noted, Ankara is taking appropriate steps to prevent a food crisis.
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev also delivered a speech at the summit. He stressed that the expansion of cooperation with the OTS member countries in all areas is one of the main foreign policy vectors of Azerbaijan.
"Strengthening ties with member countries of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) in all spheres is one of the main priorities of Azerbaijan's foreign policy", Aliyev said.
The Head of state reminded that Azerbaijan has always made and continues to contribute to the unification of the Turkic world and is committed to the principles of unity.
"Since the Nakhchivan summit in 2009, our organization has come a long way of development. The Turkic world covers a vast number of countries, where about 200 million people live, and has huge economic potential, energy resources, transport routes and modern military capabilities", the president said.
According to him, the organization's member states should intensify cooperation in the security and defense industries, along with politics, economy, trade, culture, transport, energy, digital transformation.
As President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev said in his speech at the summit, the role of the Organization of Turkic States has increased significantly.
"Today, the role of the Organization of Turkic States has increased significantly. Kazakhstan is the land of the fathers of the Turkic world, so we attach particular importance to the development of our comprehensive cooperation. We are interested in further strengthening our cooperation and bringing it to a new level", he said.
The Kazakh leader noted that the history of the organizations indicates that most of them, including TURKSOY, TurkPA and the Turkic Academy, appeared at the initiative of Kazakhstan. They became real conductors of the cultural and spiritual rapprochement of our fraternal peoples.
"Kazakhstan makes a significant contribution to the strengthening and expansion of friendly and good-neighbourly relations of the Turkic states. A vivid example of this is the program document "Prospects for the Turkic World - 2040". Today, in order to implement it, the Strategy of the Organization of Turkic States will be adopted", Tokayev said, adding that this document will contribute to strengthening interaction and strengthening the stability belt that unites the countries.
"Therefore, there is every reason to believe that our cooperation will be successful. We must become a powerful and authoritative force, when we actively engage in resolving issues of the regional and global agenda. The current geopolitical and geo-economic contradictions have a negative impact on the economy and the transport and logistics system of the Eurasian continent. We must show solidarity to jointly confront all challenges and threats", Tokayev said.
The Head of state also stressed that it was of key importance to increase the potential of transport and transit communications and maximize the use of their capabilities. As an example, he cited the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, which runs through Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Türkiye.
"We consider the development of the transport and logistics industry a priority. Over the past 15 years, Kazakhstan has allocated $35 billion for its development. Our country is interested in diversifying transport routes and developing logistics. It is planned to attract another $20 billion in investments for these purposes by 2025", he said.
Within the framework of the summit, bilateral meetings of the OTS member countries' leaders are also held. Thus, the presidents of Azerbaijan and Türkiye have already held talks on the sidelines of the summit. They stressed that friendly and fraternal bilateral relations are successfully developing in all areas. In addition to this, Aliyev and Erdoğan discussed the situation and security issues in the region and exchanged the views on the Sochi meeting results.
It should be added that within the framework of the summit, the Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States was replaced. It was Baghdad Amreyev who succeeded Kubanychbek Omuraliev.