Eli Cohen became the first Israeli foreign minister to step foot in Turkmenistan in nearly three decades after arriving in the Central Asian country’s capital Ashgabat to open an embassy.
Turkmenistan, a Muslim-majority country, established relations with Israel in the run-up to its declaration of independence in 1991.
About a decade ago, in light of good relations between the two states, Israel opened a temporary embassy there with a temporary structure, now permanent.
“Relations with Turkmenistan are important and strategic, as part of the political and security activities to strengthen relations with Central Asia,” Cohen said in a statement. “We will continue to promote economic cooperation between the countries, among other things in the fields of health and cyber defense.”
“Inauguration of the Israeli embassy in Ashgabat is another sign of the strengthening of the relationship between Israel and Turkmenistan, and marks the 30th anniversary of the establishment of relations,” he said.
Shimon Peres was the last Israeli foreign minister to visit the former Soviet state, making a trip there in 1994 along with a stop in Uzbekistan.