Monday, 22, July, 2024

Turkmenistan will host the summit of leaders of the founding member states of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea on on Aug. 24 in the Turkmen resort of Avaza, local media reported.

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow signed a decree on the summit at a joint session of the government and the security council, according to Neytralny Turkmenistan newspaper.

The summit is expected to be attended by the heads of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

The foundation was set up in 1993 in order to address the economic and environmental concerns in the region.

Turkmenistan is chairing the foundation in 2017-2019.

The Aral Sea, located in Central Asia, was the fourth largest saline lake in the world in the beginning of the 20th century. However, the water level in the Aral Sea has been decreasing since 1960s due to water being diverted for irrigation projects.

The lower water level led to the desertification of the surrounding territory, which makes the lands impossible to use for planting crops or other plants. The Aral Sea gradually drying out has also resulted in more dust storms and greater water salinity.

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