Ambassador Myrat Mammetaliyev of Turkmenistan in Seoul hosted a press meeting at the Embassy of Turkmenistan in Seoul on Feb. 23, 2018, and explained to the media on the main directions of foreign policy of his country and prospects for cooperation with the Republic of Korea. The following are excerpts from the statement of Ambassador Mammetaliyev:
From the very beginning, Turkmenistan has developed its foreign policy concept based on universal values, principles of international law. A number of normative legal documents were adopted, which firmly enshrined the main principles of foreign policy of the country.
Neutrality in the foreign policy of our country has become the basic principle of relations with the states of the world. This principle was enshrined in the Basic Law - the Constitution of our country. As is known, the status of neutrality was also confirmed at the international level - by the Resolution of the UN General Assembly on December 12, 1995. It is noteworthy that on the initiative of Turkmenistan, starting from 2017, this day is celebrated as the International Day of Neutrality.
Firmly adhering to this status, Turkmenistan actively develops its relations with other states, aimed not only at ensuring internal development of the country, but also maintaining regional and international stability, ensuring sustainable development and progress of human civilization.
To date, Turkmenistan has established and maintains diplomatic relations with 145 states of the world and is a member of 43 major international organizations, a party to 124 international conventions and multilateral instruments. Thanks to its efforts, Turkmenistan was elected to the governing structures of a number of authoritative international organizations.
The network of diplomatic and consular missions of the country is expanding, which also contributes to the active promotion of the foreign policy objectives of our country.
Turkmenistan actively promotes initiatives in various fields aimed at issues of global importance and achieving the sustainable development goals (GSDs). These spheres concern energy, ecology, human development, transport, etc.
In the field of energy, possessing huge reserves of hydrocarbon resources, Turkmenistan actively promotes international cooperation in this direction. Turkmenistan's energy strategy is based on the principles of diversified energy supplies, expansion of their geography, involvement of more countries interested in participating in international energy processes.
At present, in addition to the Central Asia-Center gas pipeline, the three more export gas pipelines have been laid in the direction of Iran (1997, 2000 and 2010), and the largest trans-Asian gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan was opened in 2009. On February 23, 2018 in Turkmenistan, new construction phase of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline is being launched.
At the initiative of Turkmenistan in 2008 and 2013, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted resolutions on reliable and stable transit of energy resources.
In December 2014, the International Energy Charter Forum was held in Ashgabat, in which the Secretary-General of the organization took part.
In 2017, our country became the Chairman of the International Energy Charter Conference. In November 2017, the 28th session of this organization was held in Ashgabat, which gathered more than 200 delegates from 50 countries.
Transport diplomacy is another important direction of Turkmenistan's foreign policy, which has global significance. In 2014 and 2015 at the initiative of Turkmenistan, the United Nations General Assembly adopted two Resolutions entitled “Role of transport and transit corridors in ensuring international cooperation for sustainable development” and “Towards comprehensive cooperation among all modes of transport for promoting sustainable multimodal transit corridors”. In continuation of these efforts, in November 2016 the first Global Conference on Sustainable Transport was held in Ashgabat. Another Resolution entitled “Strengthening the links between all modes of transport to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals” was adopted during the 72 session of the UN General Assembly.
Turkmenistan is also implementing practical measures to develop regional and international transport infrastructure. Recently, such projects as the construction of the railroad Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan, the International Seaport in the city of Turkmenbashi have found practical implementation.
In addition, Turkmenistan is making great efforts to maintain regional and international security and stability, to ensure environmental security, cooperation in the field of sports and other areas.
It should be noted that peace, security and harmony in Afghanistan are key conditions for progress in the region. Over the years, Turkmenistan has been providing Afghanistan with concrete, targeted economic and humanitarian support. Our country participates in the construction of medical and educational institutions in the neighboring country, providing preferential energy supplies, training of Afghan students in the educational institutions of Turkmenistan, regularly dispatching humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and other types of assistance.
Turkmenistan supports the participation of Afghanistan in the implementation of major regional and international infrastructure projects, considering this as a pledge of prosperity and well-being of the Afghan people.
At the suggestion of Turkmenistan, in Ashgabat in mid-November, the 7th Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA VII) was held. As a result of the forum, the Ashgabat Declaration was adopted, which reflected the readiness of the participating states and international organizations to further build a mutually beneficial partnership.
The Winter Olympic Games is taking place in the Republic of Korea now. In September 2017, the V Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games took place in Ashgabat. Today, sport is viewed as an important factor, promoting rapprochement of people and nations, sustainable development.
In Ashgabat a team of refugees took part in the games. It is worth mentioning that on the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan, within the framework of the 36th session of the UN Human Rights Council, the Joint Statement "On encouraging valuable contribution of Olympic refugee teams in strengthening peace and human rights", initiated by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, was unanimously adopted.
In April 2017, Turkmenistan hosted the International Sports Congress "Asian Games-2017: International Sports Cooperation for Peace and Development", the final declaration of which was published as an official document of the 71st session of the UN General Assembly. Based on this document, Turkmenistan proposes holding the seventh International Conference of Ministers and Senior Officials Responsible for Physical Education and Sport under the auspices of UNESCO.
In the field of ecology, efforts are being made both within the country and in the international arena. On a regional scale, Turkmenistan fostering specific measures within the framework of the Chairmanship of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS).
In bilateral relations, Turkmenistan attaches great importance to cooperation with the Republic of Korea, which has significantly intensified in recent years in all areas.
It is necessary to note the high level of political relations between our countries. The President of Turkmenistan visited the Republic of Korea in 2008 and 2015. The President of the Republic of Korea visited Turkmenistan in 2014. These visits contributed to a significant intensification of cooperation.
The embassies of states are accredited in both countries.
A high level of cooperation has been established and maintained between parliaments of countries. To date, the Chairman of the Mejlis of Turkmenistan has visited the Republic of Korea three times, Korean parliamentarians regularly visit Turkmenistan.
In the economic sphere, it should be noted that over the years there has been a positive dynamics of trade turnover between the two countries. A number of large Korean companies are operating in Turkmenistan, fulfilling important state orders.
An intergovernmental Turkmen-Korean commission for trade, economic, scientific and technological cooperation has been established and successfully operates between the countries. To date, 6 meetings of the commission have been held. The last one was held on April 6, 2017 in Ashgabat. The Commission's meetings are traditionally accompanied by business forums with participation of state structures and companies of the two countries.
In the cultural and humanitarian sphere, cooperation is also successfully developing.
Every year, the number of Turkmen students wishing to study in Korea is growing.
Culture Days or activities to familiarize the general public with the culture and traditions of the peoples of the two states are held regularly.
Given the above dynamics of relations between countries, we are confident that they will continue to expand and strengthen for the benefit of the people of the two countries.