Austria and Turkmenistan Sign Cooperation Agreement

PeopleDiplomats ♦ Published: March 12, 2024; 21:12 ♦ (Vindobona)

In a step towards deepening their bilateral relations, Austria and Turkmenistan have signed a new cooperation agreement for the years 2024-2025. The meeting in Vienna between Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg and his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov focused on topics of mutual interest, including political-diplomatic cooperation, trade and economic relations, energy issues, and cultural exchanges.

Ashgabat is the capital of Turkmenistan. / Picture: © Wikimedia Commons / John Pavelka/ CC BY 2.0 (

Given the increasing geopolitical importance of Central Asia, Austrian Foreign Minister Schallenberg emphasized the need to expand cooperation with countries such as Turkmenistan. Central Asia, located near Russia and Iran, is crucial for global security, as it serves as the link between Europe and Asia.

"It is essential that we no longer leave Central Asia on the periphery of Europe, but see its strategic position between Europe and Asia as an opportunity for increased cooperation," said Schallenberg. Particular emphasis was placed on joint efforts in the fight against terrorism, organized crime, and illegal migration, which are becoming even more important due to the unstable situation in Afghanistan.

The meeting also focused on the promotion of trade and investment relations. Austrian companies see great potential in Turkmenistan, particularly in the areas of infrastructure development, mechanical and plant engineering, and the healthcare sector. The meeting was flanked by a Business Round Table, which will offer Turkmen and Austrian entrepreneurs a platform for exchange.

Role of the OSCE in bilateral relations

Foreign Minister Schallenberg also took the opportunity to highlight the importance of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) as a forum for dialogue and cooperation. Given the current challenges in the European security architecture, in particular the conflict in Ukraine, Schallenberg emphasized the need for increased exchange and dialogue within the OSCE.

The cooperation agreement between Austria and Turkmenistan symbolizes not only the desire for stronger bilateral relations but also the joint commitment to stability and prosperity in their regions and beyond. By expanding cooperation in various areas, both countries hope to take their partnership to a new level and make a positive contribution to the regional and global security landscape.

Austrian MFA

Turkmenistan MFA