Jean-Louis Schlesser: I am confident that rally Amul – Hazar 2018 will have great success

Media forum dedicated to International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 took place in the conference hall of Sport Hotel in Ashgabat. Hosts and participants of coming motor race in September this year, representatives of largest foreign and national mass media took part in the event.

Foreign press was represented by the journalists from Russia, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Romania, China, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Belarus, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.

The opening of the forum was forestalled by video about qualification competitions and test runs, in which President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is not only the promoter of healthy life style but also an excellent sportsman achieved high results in various sport including the motor sport, took active part.

In his welcoming speech, Secretary general of Turkmenistan National Olympic Committee A. Myradov spoke in details on preparation to International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 initiated by Turkmen leader. Having expressed the confidence that coming event in September 9 – 14 this year would enter bright page to the history of development of national sport, A. Myradov gave floor to Jean-Louis Schlesser, the General Director and organizer of famous motor rally Africa Eco Race.

Jean-Louis Schlesser, famous in the sport world as numerous champion in sport vehicle races, two times winner of Paris – Dakar rally, expressed the gratitude to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for the invitation to take part in the events on preparation and conduct of international motor races along the Silk Road, which raised great interest in sport circles. “Owing to this, I have met new friends united by excellent idea, which would give strong impulse to the popularization of motor sport not only in your country but also far beyond its borders”, - famous racer and organizer of large international competitions highlighted.

“It is a great honour for me and my team to be co-organizer of the rally, which would run across great Turkmen desert. At first, we thought it would be complicated and hard task to organize such competition for short period. However, having started the work with Turkmen team and inspired by personal example of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, we achieved great results as for today”.

Jean-Louis Schlesser highlighted that huge number of sportsmen expressed their interest in participation in Amul – Hazar 2018 races after the announcement of this competitions. It brightly illustrates not only great interest of famous racers in coming competitions but also their sincere desire to see your beautiful country with its unique natural landscape.

The race would be held from the east to the west of Turkmenistan along the route on ancient Silk Road. Total distance of the race running across big desert is more than 1,500 kilometres, which is ideal for outstanding rally. The race will be realistic test of the capabilities for the professionals, their driving skills in hard conditions and navigation knowledge.

Jean-Louis Schlesser explained that the route is divided into 5 stages and every speed part has number of surprises for the pilot and navigator. Therefore, Karakum Desert is the heart of the project giving huge experience to true adventurers. Turkmen desert is not that homogeneous as the African one and generously gives unusual impressions, which are able to surprise anybody, as this is living ecosystem not affected by human activity impact.

The races finish in Avaza National tourist zone, the resort located on the Caspian coast. Coming over difficult parts of the desert, the participants of the race will be able to see unique places of Turkmen land, having made symbolical journey from the past to the present.

Jean-Louis Schlesser made special mention of his confidence that International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 would have great success and its participants would be happy to come back to our beautiful country again. Completing his speech, famous racer has again expressed sincere gratitude to President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for his valuable contribution to the development of motor sport.

After, the floor was given to Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs, Head of the Motor Sport Federation of Turkmenistan G. Agamyradov who spoke in general about the realization of sport policy of the President of Turkmenistan, having focused on the development of motor sport in our country. Turkmenistan Motor Sports Federation has been founded in 2009. International Silk Road rally was the first competition held by the initiative of the Leader of the Nation. Our team won this motor race, which complicated route run across three countries – the Russian Federation, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Speaking of the preparation to coming International rally this year, the presenter highlighted the feeling of pride of Turkmen sportsmen who evidenced high skills of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov who participated in qualification race and completed difficult track for 10 minutes and 10 seconds. Recalling than memorable day, he noted that the Leader of the Nation has been awarded with the Certificate of the Master of Sports of Turkmenistan and the Winner Cup as well as the certificate giving the right for participation in International rally Amul – Hazar 2018.

It was informed that Motor Sports Federation of the country plans to nominate 20 participants forming 10 teams, who are currently undergo the training in the Motor Sports Training Centre of the Ministry of Interior as well as in real conditions – in Karakum Desert.

As for today, dozens of teams and sportsmen representing relevant federations of foreign states have confirmed their participation in International rally Amul – Hazar 2018.

Department Head of the State Committee of Turkmenistan for Tourism A. Mamedniyazov was the next to make a speech. The Official noted that due to the initiative of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on International rally, big groups of foreign tourists would visit our country. Our land is the home of great civilizations, the crossroad of seven roads as it was called by the chroniclers. Trader routes that made great influence on cultural interrelation of the peoples of the East and the West used to run here.

The Silk Road has become one of popular tourist brands today and plays important role in activation of international contacts. According to the survey of the World Tourist Organization, 1,300,000 people used the services of tourist agencies in 2017 and many of them are dreaming to travel along the Silk Road.

The presenter continued that International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 is coming closer and the State Tourist Committee of Turkmenistan prepares to receive numerous foreign tourist on high level. Huge work on training of tour guides and interpreters has been carried out, information about the hotels has been published on websites of tourist agencies, new tourist routes have been prepared for the guest of our country, presentations of Amul – Hazar 2018 rally has been held and personnel of tourist agencies have taken part in the seminars organized in Turkmenistan and abroad.

Another speaker, Head of Permanent Representative Office of International Road Transport Union in Eurasia Dmitry Cheltsov highlighted that international media forum is logical continuation of transport diplomacy of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

For the last five years, the UN General Assembly has adopted four important Resolutions by the initiative of Turkmen leader, which outlines key directions of provision of stable mobility and harmonization of transport based on international agreements and conventions that proved their efficiency, the spokesman continued.

The adoption of the Resolution on the World Bicycle Day by the UN General Assembly, which has been elaborated by Turkmenistan and unanimously supported by the representatives of 193 UN members, is another important achievement of transport diplomacy of Turkmenistan.

The Resolution gives clear recommendations promotion of stable ecologically rational mobility including the bicycle transport as well as urges to improve the safety road traffic and to integrate the objectives of mobility and bicycle tourism to national transport strategies.

The Head of Permanent Representative Office of the International Road Transport Union in Eurasia (IRU) made special mention that his organization is proud of the level of understanding and cooperation achieved with the Government of Turkmenistan in provision of stable mobility, harmonization of procedures and digitation in transport sphere supporting the formational of international digital corridors connecting Europe, Asia and Middle East via Caspian region.

Organization of International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 will be important for attraction of the attention to development of stable mobility and international tourism along historical Silk Road in Turkmenistan and in the region in general.

The achievements of Turkmenistan in this direction are significant, the speaker highlighted. Largest in the region Ashgabat International Airport and modern passenger terminal, new railroads and highways connecting Turkmenistan with neighbouring countries successfully operate. New Turkmenbashy International Seaport opened in May 2018 will allow developing multimodal passenger transportation of Ro-Pax vessels.

Mr. Cheltsov expressed the confidence that this rally would allow demonstrating and opening considerable potential of increment of passenger transportation and would be additional stimulus for the development of international tourism in Turkmenistan.

The guest has also expressed the gratitude to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov for excellent organization of media forum, having noted that its outcomes would support the attraction of international community to the rally and the objectives of transport development along ancient Silk Road, which runs across Turkmenistan in new format.

Deputy Chairman of the State Turkmenistan Committee for Television, Radio Broadcasting and Cinematography was the next to make a speech at the forum. He spoke about the work on popularization and broadcasting of Amul – Hazar 2018 rally. In this aspect, the State Committee cooperates with international organizations uniting the journalists from many countries.

In addition, the Committee works closely with foreign TV channels like Russia 24, TRT, Uzbekistan National Television and Radio Company, Belarus TV and Radio Company and other. Together with sport programmes and show, 3-animation movie dedicated to coming competitions has been made. This movie will be broadcasted during the races. Oguzkhan Turkmenfilm Association made documentaries on historical monuments located along the Silk Road.

According to his words, attraction of foreign participants – famous racers with the world names, is one of most difficult objectives in organization of international marathons in Romania. However, having taken part in such raids once, famous sportsmen come back to the country every year as they fall in love with its landscapes, atmosphere and people. Mikhail Leonte expressed the confidence that it would be the same with Turkmen rally Amul – Hazar 2018 as our hospitable country has indeed wonderful natural places and attractions.

Rally raid is not just several day long – distance off-road races. If to lift the curtain of the competitions, the perception of the event is coloured by such concepts as adventure, risk, toughness and resolution. However, the friendship, honour, team spirit are on top of all, Leonte highlighted, having noted that everybody are equal among the participants of the competitions and everybody’s contribution – pilots, co-pilots, mechanics and the rest of the team, is important for victory. Therefore, the main secret of success in in the skills and understanding of engines and in goals fulfilment.

The race is a big test sometimes in severe conditions and unfamiliar areas sometimes with difficult terrain. This is how the abilities and character of the team, its cohesion as well as durability of the vehicle are tested. There is no other sports where the friendship and team spirit are so important and all who comes to the finish are the winners - no matter how much time it took to cover the distance. The most important is that you did it!

This is not just exciting but also very spectacular sport, Mikhail Leonte added. Powerful vehicles, trucks and landscapes… Nevertheless, people are the most beautiful, special people and we shall see them during Amul – Hazar 2018 races.

Representative of the Ministry on Interior of Turkmenistan G. Haldurdiyev, who made speech at the forum, made special mention that today, favourable geographic location became important resource of development of our country. It is not occasionally that 2018 is held under slogan “Turkmenistan – the Heart of the Great Silk Road”. Since President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov entrusted the organization of International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 to the Ministry Of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, the representative of the Ministry of Internal Affairs spoke of the joint work on realization of this unique project.

It includes the organization of camps, involvement of small aircrafts t escort the race, mass media as well as the support of local administration in organization of the rally. Organizational committee composed of the number of number of profile ministries and departments has been established for these purposes.

The speaker has said that one of the camps is located next to Darvaza gas crater and another one next to Turkmen Lake. Therefore, the participants of the rally would be able to see unusual and unique places of Turkmen land with their own eyes. The final part of the route runs along the coastal line of Caspian Sea with the finish in Avaza National tourist zone, which beauty will be appreciated by foreign racers.

Special attention is paid to the provision of fire safety, technical maintenance and service of the competitions. The Organization Committee has taken some measures for facilitation of custom formalities and obtaining of visas for foreign participants.

Deputy Minister of Automobile Transport G. Begaliyev finished the speeches of the participants of the forum and spoke of the work carried out by the ministry on development of motor transport leanand the measures for high-level organization of Amul – Hazar 2018 rally. Special group responsible for fulfilment of the activities entrusted to the ministry on organization of the races has been formed up, plans of events on provision of successful organization of current and coming competitions have been developed. The Deputy Minister has also spoken about the perspectives of development of the industry.

During his recent trip to Balkan Velayat, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov inspected the preparation to International rally Amul – Hazar 2018 and the works carried out at the finishing stage of the races. Having arrived in the starting point of the final part of the route, the Head of the State highlighted that Turkmenistan pays great attention to ecological aspect. The projects of production of the most environmentally friendly fuel used in vehicles are aimed at the provision of ecological wealth.

The future is in ecology, Turkmen leader highlighted, having expressed the confidence that from this point of view, Amul – Hazar 2018 rally is to confirm again the importance of the relation of ecological factor with all events including international motorsport competitions. The Leader of the Nation reminded that coming competitions are called eco rally raid, which explains itself. In addition, the Head of the State added that soon, we would present the results of our work in this direction.

Necessary works have been carried out at the hydro-treated fuel production facility of Turkmenbashy Refinery Complex for the fulfilment of the assignments of President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on production of local ECO 5 fuel and the first batch of the above-mentioned product has been made.

The test of this fuel has been carried out in the laboratory of German BASF company, which has shown positive results. During current media forum, the participants were able to familiarize themselves with the samples of this excellent environmentally friendly ECO 5 fuel produced by Turkmen specialists and meeting the highest requirements of international standards.

The work for uninterrupted supply of the vehicles participating in Amul – Hazar 2018 race with ECO 5 diesel fuel is carried out at present time.

Introduction tour around the Olympic village of Ashgabat, which hosted V Asian Indoor and Martial Games with the greatest success less than one year ago and proved again the status of our country as a sport state, has been organized for the delegates of the forum.

The guests of the capital have visited the martial arts arena, indoor cycling track, the centre of water sports, big multifunctional hall as well as tested the basketball ground.

According to unanimous opinion of the participants of the media forum, every facility and the Olympic village in general present the masterpiece of sport architecture and excellent model for comprehensive imitation. Having such infrastructure, Turkmenistan deserves to host large international competitions.

After, the delegates has visited International Ahalteke Equestrian Complex where they enjoyed the unique Turkmen horse, which our nation is proud of calling them as their wings. The guests shared their bright impressions on staying in exceptionally clean white-marble Ashgabat and its suburbs on the picturesque background of the Kopetdag foothills.

Tomorrow, the participants of the media forum will continue familiarization with the capital and its attractions as well as will visit the Motorsport Centre of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Turkmenistan.