The Ambassador of Turkmenistan assures full support to ECO Science Foundation (ECOSF) for pursuance of its objectives

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President ECOSF Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro called upon the Ambassador of Turkmenistan H.E. Mr. Atadjan Movlamov at the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Islamabad on 27 January 2015. The Turkmen Ambassador received the President ECOSF with warm welcome.

During the discussion, the Ambassador briefed about the modern history of Turkmenistan and mentioned that in 1995, Turkmenistan adopted new resolution with constitutional changes for its naturalization, therefore, the Turkmenistan is celebrating this year, the completion of 20 years of its landmark event as a "Neutral State". He further briefed that Turkmenistan accepted international obligations vide its new constitution and believed firmly the strong relations with international community. He also said that his country always tries to promote economic development and peace in ECO region and the world. The Ambassador gave some economic glimpses of Turkmenistan and said that a energy project is under way between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India famously known as TAPI. The President of Turkmenistan has emphasized on transit corridor from North-South and East-West.

The President ECOSF gave a brief on the activities done so far and future programmes of ECOSF. Prof. Soomro mentioned that he plans to visit Turkmenistan to hold meetings with the officials and experts/scientists in the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education and Agriculture as well as the National Academy of Sciences and other relevant organizations/departments. The President ECOSF appreciated that a national scientific conference is organized by Turkmenistan once or twice every year and that he would like to participate in the next conference. It will provide great opportunities to mingle with the scientific community of ECO region and the world.

Prof. Soomro also apprised the Ambassador about S&T Fund of the Foundation including its objectives which was approved by the BoT in its 1st meeting held on 20 Dec 2011 in Islamabad and during the meeting, Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan pledged to contribute voluntarily a sum of US$1 million, US$100 thousand and US$200 thousand respectively in the S&T Fund.

Prof. Dr. Manzoor H. Soomro highlighted that Turkmenistan needs to expedite the nomination of scientist for Executive Committee/BoT and nomination of Focal Point for ECOSF to facilitate correspondence with the country and receive the timely response.

Dr. Soomro also updated the Ambassador that since its formal inception in December 2011, so far only Pakistan and Iran are contributing towards the mandatory budget.

He also highlighted that despite budgetary constraints, ECOSF in collaboration with international organizations, has organized various scientific activities/events. Last year (2014), an international conference on "Emerging Trends in Life Science for Sustainable Development" was also organized in collaboration with European Union and FCC University Lahore from 9-11 Oct 2014; wherein, more than 135 delegates including over 30 from different countries of the world with majority from ECO region participated but unfortunately, no participant from Turkmenistan attended the conference. This year, ECOSF has planned two more international workshops to be held in Karachi-Pakistan and Astana-Kazakhstan as under:

a. Workshop on "Applications of Agro-Biotechnology" to be held from 17-19 March 2015. Last date for submission of nominations is 19 February 2015 in Karachi-Pakistan.

b. Capacity Building Workshop on Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE) tentatively planned in June 23-25, 2015 in Astana-Kazakhstan (nominations yet to be asked).

He also apprised the Turkmen Ambassador about the 6th International Seminar on Science and Technology Education in School organized by La main a la pate (LAMAP) Foundation-France to be held in Paris from 1-6 June 2015. In this context, the nominations of two persons from each ECO country have been invited. Therefore, the Ambassador was requested to get nomination of a Focal Person for IBSE who will also attend the Paris seminar along with another expert/scientist.

The Turkmen Ambassador appreciated the efforts being made by ECOSF and assured his full support for the above mentioned tasks to be completed by the Turkmenistan as soon as possible and will facilitate the visit of the President ECOSF to Turkmenistan as and when requested.

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