Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov and Islam Karimov
Tashkent, Uzbekistan (UzDaily.com) --
Projects on the construction of power plants on transborder rivers must undergo an international examination, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow told a news conference in Tashkent on 25 February.
"If we look at Uzbekistan’s position, it is clear and absolutely unambiguous. We say we are not against the construction of hydroelectric power stations. We are absolutely not against them. Please, build them if they meet not only the interests of two countries but also the interests of all countries and all nations in the region. Why should people living in south, where the great rivers [Syrdarya and Amudarya] should flow, suffer from hardship tomorrow? It will be very difficult to explain to people. Therefore, we say please build, for God’s sake. We are even ready to take part in them if there is a need for this. However, we raise a very simple question: conduct an international examination, conduct an objective expertise and answer the two simple questions: first, if the huge hydroelectric power stations are build, will there be less water flow into the countries for people living in the lower parts [of the rivers], specifically, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan? Answer the questions, and explain how the water flow will change," Islam Karimov said.
The Turkmen president supported his Uzbek counterpart and said: "Simply, each of us should do our functional duties. We, Turkmenistan, as I have said at a plenary session, we highlight that conventional norms and international legal principles, as Islam Abduganiyevich [Karimov] has already said, of all Central Asian states should be abided by. Therefore, we, as a country located on the lower reaches of rivers, are not just interested in this and we are against a decrease in the flow of water in the transborder rivers. It is justly said that we are in favour of an international audit," Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said.