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Development of cooperation between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea

The diplomatic ties between Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea were established in February 1992. For the past 24 years Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea have been developing their fruitful cooperation. Since then agreements and arrangements have been successfully realized in many spheres.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye, in Ashgabat.

On the international arena, Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea render mutual support and confidence to each other, particularly within the framework of interaction in the United Nations Organization. So, in December 2008, the Republic of Korea rendered to our country an active support as co-sponsor of international initiative of the President of Turkmenistan on the adoption of Resolution of the UN General Assembly on reliable and safe transit of energy bearers to the world markets.

The Eurasian Initiative and the Silk Road Express Project announced by President Park Geun-hye of Korea to build reliable energy and transport corridors on the continent in many ways coincide with Turkmenistan’s international initiatives for achieving energy and transport security.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in Daegu

On April 11-13, 2015 President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov paid a state visit to the Republic of Korea. During the state visit on April 12 President of Turkmenistan participated in VII World Water Forum held in Daegu.

Putting forward specific initiatives of the country, the Turkmen leader emphasized that today water problems could not be considered in isolation from global development plans, environmental and food security and creation of an integrated system of sustainable energy.

Turkmenistan also considers it useful to hold a high-level interactive dialogue dedicated to the International Decade for Action ?Water for Life?, that took place recently at the United Nations Headquarters, the results of which can serve as a foundation for development of the long-term UN Specialized Programme on Water Issues. “We see opportunities for establishing a systematic multi-level dialogue to address all problems related to formation and restoration of water resources and their efficient use in the creation of a new political and diplomatic form of multilateral communication, which could be ‘water diplomacy’”, said President of Turkmenistan.

In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan expressed belief in that such a joint activity could be the foundation for a comprehensive document of the United Nations on water. The Turkmen leader expressed support to the UN initiative on the recognition of water accessibility as a fundamental human right and noted that the water right and liability for efficient water resources management laid the foundation for this approach. Recognizing that solution of water issues in a global scale is complicated due to climate change, Turkmenistan put forward an initiative on creation of a UN specialized structure - the Regional Centre for technologies related to climate change under the auspices and with the active participation of the United Nations Organization.

On April 13, 2015 Turkmen-Korean high-level negotiations were held in Seoul. Main attention of the negotiations in the Palace “Cheong Wa Dae” was paid to the trade-economical relations of two countries. Over the years, the largest Korean corporations, such as the “LG”, “Hyundai”, “Samsung”, “Posco-Daewoo”, “Kia Motors” and others are working successfully in various sectors of the economy of Turkmenistan. “In addition to the traditional areas of economic cooperation - energy, oil-gas and transport - we have opportunities to develop partnerships in new directions,” stressed Turkmen leader. “It is textile and chemical industry, construction of urban and road transport infrastructure”.

Heads of the two states in friendly and constructive environment gave evaluation to the development of bilateral cooperation, widely exchanged the views on issues of mutual interest, including themes of bilateral relations as well as issues of regional and international character.

Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea share the same or similar positions on issues of international policy, there are no any disagreements between the countries.

▲Gas Treatment Plant Galkynysh, Turkmenistan

The strengthening the confidence building measures in Asia and creating an enabling political environment to promote relations between states in accordance with the recognized norms of international law and the Charter of the United Nations were the key aspects of the dialogue between Turkmenistan and the Republic of Korea during the one-to-one talks of two Presidents and the talks with participation of the government delegations at Cheong Wa Dae Palace. It was noted that the proposals put forward by two countries to further promote international cooperation were mutually reinforcing. Korean high-level delegation participated in International Conference of high level “Policy of neutrality: international cooperation for peace, security and development” which was held in December, 2015.

In the framework of high-level agreements between our Presidents last year, the Turkmen side is planning to take steps in strengthening inter-parliamentary relations. In this regard, the Head of Mejlis (Speaker of the National Parliament) of Turkmenistan with the invitation of her Korean counterpart visited Seoul on August, 2016 to discuss with the Speaker of National Assembly of the ROK the directions of further collaboration.

Besides that, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan is also expected to visit the Republic of Korea in late autumn this year in order to take part in 10th Korea-Central Asia Cooperation Forum. The meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs is planned in the framework of this event to discuss the programs inter-ministerial cooperation. These two high level visits will further strengthen the Turkmen-Korean relations.

Major Korean companies have been operating successfully in various sectors of Turkmen economy over many years. The ambitious projects implemented jointly with the companies include the construction of industrial facilities on Turkmen oil and gas, transport and construction fields. Most of the public transport fleet of Turkmenistan is composed of Korean buses and motorcars.

In addition, Hyundai Motor Company is one of the official car suppliers to the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games, which will be hold in Turkmenistan in 2017.

During the state visit it was noted that Turkmenistan and Korea had opportunities to promote partnership in new spheres such as textile and chemical industries, urban and road infrastructure development. They signed several contracts mostly in the field of oil and gas, textile, metallurgy industries, sports, science, technological spheres and various other areas.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye in Cheongwadae palace

During the state visit to Turkmenistan by President of the Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye on June, 2014 there were also signed several contracts in key industries worth over 4 billion dollars with Korean companies such as LG International Corp. and Hyundai Engineering.

Such regularly organized meetings and negotiations between the leaders of two friendly countries: Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea can serve as a basis for the further development of mutually beneficial relations owing to creation of new model of cooperation, allowing fully uniting all advantages of two countries and getting from them practical output.

Both countries pay great attention to the cultural and humanitarian relations. In the first half of 2016, the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Korea took part in several fairs and festivals organized by the Korean side. For example, Charity bazaar organized by the MOFA of the ROK at the National Diplomatic Academy in southern Seoul on May 3; the Seoul Friendship Fair on May 7-8 sponsored by Seoul Metropolitan City Government and the Korea Tourism Organization, the Turkmen booth displayed traditional craftworks, souvenirs and food. Embassy of Turkmenistan will display its also in the boosts of World Masters Committee on November, 4-6, and SIWA (Seoul International Woman Organization) on November 14, 2016.

On April, 23, 2016 Award Ceremony and exhibition of world children’s drawings devoted to the 25th Anniversary of the Independence of Turkmenistan was held at the Multicultural museum. This event was organized by the initiative of the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Republic of Korea by support of Korean Multicultural museum. 12 drawings have been awarded the prize and Award Certificate.

This year in November, a large cultural delegation from our country will present its own “Days of Culture” in the framework of the Festival of Turkic culture with the support Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Korea.

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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