Shavkat Mirziyoyev is set to go on a second trip to Turkmenistan on May 19-20 ' he first went in March ' at the behest of this Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.
The leaders will meet for talks and sign off on some intergovernmental agreement to 'further develop cooperation.' Trade and transportation are likely to be at the top of the agenda.
Turkmenistan was actually the first country that Mirziyoyev visited aspresident, a choice that sent a signal that the new Uzbek leader was intending to live up to vows that he would favor regional relations over those with the usual larger geo-strategic partners. The main outcomes of that visit were a strategic cooperation agreement and a pledge to improve transportation links.
As one of only two nations in the world to be double-landlocked, Uzbekistan has faced particular complications in connecting to the outside world, a fact that made the late president Islam Karimov's customarily frosty attitude to neighbors even more mystifying. With the recent completion of a north-south railway line through Turkmenistan ' intended in the broader picture to give China a time-saving outlet to the Persian Gulf ' Uzbekistan is sniffing an opportunity. Eased access to Caspian routes are also high appealing.