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Turkmenistan marks 20th anniversary of Permanent NeutralityEnormous success achieved under the leadership of President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov

Turkmenistan is a country in Central Asia, has borders with Iran,Afghanistan,Uzbekistan,and Kazakhstan and has a coast line of Caspian Sea. The territory of Turkmenistan is 491.2 thousand square kilometers. The capital of Turkmenistan is Ashgabat.The population of Turkmenistan is about 6.2 million people. Turkmenistan the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves country. Turkmenistan is a democratic, legal, secular state. The form of government is a presidential republic. The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedovis the head of the state. This year Turkmenistan is celebrating the great event - the 20th Anniversary of international recognition of Neutrality of Turkmenistan. Indeed, it is a significant date for Turkmen people, a landmark event in the history of the independent Turkmen state.On this occasion there area number of planned political and cultural events.

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

The central place in this list, certainly, takes the International Conference of high level devoted to this significant event. Ashgabat, the capital of Turkmenistan will become a venue of a Forum which will take place in December, 2015. The official invitations toworld countries leaders for participation in this important Forum have been already sent. A few of the leaders have been already accepted invitations that mean a mark of respect for our country, an evidence for the interest in its achievements, experience of international cooperation, a willingness to know better about today’s realities in Turkmenistan and enormous success, achieved in a short historical period under the leadership of the President of Turkmenistan H.E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon

Coming back to history, on 12th December 1995, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted Resolution A/50/80, recognizing and supporting the permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan. This was a unique achievement in the foreign policy of the Government, becausenot only did Turkmenistan make a strategic decision to adopt the status of permanent neutrality, the country also made a public commitment to build harmonious relations with theneighbours and to promote international peace and security in the world.
The model had been chosen and called positive neutrality and formulated its fundamental principles: peacefulness, non-interference in the affairs of other nations, respect for their sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-participation in international military organizations and treaties.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov in the UN General Assembly

What dictated this choice? Of course, first and foremost, it was guided by national interests. Turkmenistan which became independent after the collapse of Soviet Union wanted to live in peace and harmony with its neighbours, maintain friendly and equal relations with all countries, develop mutually beneficial economic, trade contacts with them. Turkmenistan believed that only under these conditions peace and cohesion could be guaranteed to Turkmen people and economic and social development plans could be implemented. Neutrality became the optimal model to implement these plans and goals, a form in which the content of the Turkmen foreign policy was built in most harmoniously and natural. Our country started to pursue consistently the sovereign, neutral and at the same time active and constructive foreign policy.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on Akhalteke horse

Concrete steps have followed, including the building of a close partnership with the United Nationsand taking active part for resolving the conflicts in the region. Turkmenistan within the years has taken an active part in the peaceful revival of neighbouring Afghanistan contributing to its social and economic development. The fruitful partnership between the regional states in the energy and transport spheres promotes the interests of peace and progress. For example, that is vividly proved by a large energy project ? construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. Speaking about the historical importance of this large-scale pipeline, which annual capacity makes up more than 30 billion cubic meters of gas, it is necessary to underline that the implementation of this project would contribute to strengthening peace, sustainable development and building up cooperation in the Asian region. In December 2007 in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan was established the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), to assist and support the five countries of Central Asia -- Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan -- build their conflict prevention capacities through enhanced dialogue, confidence-building measures and genuine partnership in order to respond to existing threats and emerging challenges in the region. One of the last initiatives to establish the United Nations Regional Centre for Disarmament in Asia was proposed by the President of Turkmenistan during the talks with Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon on June, 13th, 2015 in Ashgabat.

▲President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov

On June 3, 2015 at the 69th session of UN was unanimously adopted the Resolution “Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan”. The Assembly as in 1995 reiterated its support for the status of permanent neutrality declared by Turkmenistan and called once again on United Nations Member States to respect and support that status as well as the country’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity. It also welcomed the decision of the Government to declare 2015 the Year of Neutrality and Peace and to host an international conference on the theme “Policy of neutrality: international cooperation for peace, security and development”, in December 2015. It is not surprising that the efforts to secure neutrality of Turkmenistan as an international legal status met with benevolence and understanding all over the world.
Today, Turkmenistan expresses profound gratitude to the countries-co-sponsors of the Resolution, all members of the international community, international organizations for providing support to Turkmenistan. The Republic of Korea is among of those statessupporting the neutral status of Turkmenistan. Diplomatic ties between Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea were established in February 1992. For 23 years Turkmenistan and Republic of Korea have been developing their fruitful cooperation. Since then reached agreements and arrangements have been successfully realized in many spheres. 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, Republic of Korea rendered to our country an active support as co-sponsor of international initiative of the President of Turkmenistan on adoption of Resolution of the UN General Assembly on reliable and safe transit of energy bearers to the world markets.

▲Monument of Neutrality of Turkmenistan

Recently on April, 2015 President of Turkmenistan paid state visit to Republic of Korea and also participated in VII World Water Forum held in Daegu. The leaders of the two states held the one-to-one talks and the talks with participation of the government delegations at Cheong WaDae Palace. In his speech, President of Turkmenistan noted that 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.It was noted that the proposals put forward by our countries to further promote international cooperation were mutually reinforcing. For example, the Eurasian Initiative and the Silk Road Express Project announced by President of Republic of Korea Park Geun-hye 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.

▲Celebration of the Independence day of Turkmenistan

President of Turkmenistan also invited the President of Republic of Korea to take part in International Conference of high level “Policy of neutrality: international cooperation for peace, security and development” which will be hold in December, 2015.The participation of the President of Korea at the upcoming significant Forum will be considered as support of peace initiatives and will be highly appreciated by Turkmenistan and all world community. This event will let the leaders to meet once again, conduct productive talks because the regularly organized meetings and negotiations between the leaders of world countries can serve as a basis for further development of mutually beneficial relations owing to creation of new model of international cooperation for peace and security.

H.E. MyratMammetaliyev,
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary
of Turkmenistan in Republic of Korea

▲LOGO OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE 20th Anniversary of Permanent Neutrality OF TURKMENISTAN

▲Akhalteke horse - pride of Turkmen Nation

이경식 기자  edt@koreapost.com

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