As reported earlier, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov visited Turkmenistan on 11-12 December at the invitation of President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov to take part in the events, dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Turkmenistan’s neutrality.
Main events of the visit took place on 12 December.
President of our country visited the Neutral Turkmenistan square along with other heads of foreign states. He laid wreath to the Monument of neutrality, a symbol of neutrality of this country.
On 12 December 1995 the resolution of the UN General Assembly on recognizing Turkmenistan’s permanent neutrality status.
In connection with the 20th anniversary of this date an international conference “Policy of neutrality: international cooperation for peace, security and development” took place in Ashgabat. President of the Republic of Uzbekistan spoke at the conference.
- First of all, I would like to sincerely congratulate President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and all Turkmen nation with the national holiday- the 20th anniversary of proclamation of Turkmenistan’s neutrality, Islam Karimov said.
International recognition of Turkmenistan’s neutral status was the event, that has become one of the turning point in recent history to have determined, in large, the main stages of state construction and priorities of foreign policy of the country.
The resolution of the UN General Assembly “Permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan”, adopted on 12 December 1995, is a unique document and exclusive in the history of community of nations. Turkmenistan is the only state, which officially included this decision of the UN into the Basic Law of the country, having constitutionally secured its neutral status.
I would like to highlight that historical, geographical, ethno-cultural features of Turkmenistan, and first of all, mentality of Turkmen people, to whom such values and traditions as peacefulness and openness, diligence, tolerance and good-neighborliness has been attributed since ancient times, President of Uzbekistan said.
The people of Uzbekistan, the closest neighbor of Turkmenistan, know and highly value these features of Turkmen people. Our relations have been tested throughout ages by time, when we have overcome together ordeals and difficulties, shared joy.
Islam Karimov stressed that we are united by common history, language, religion and traditions, as well as by our common goals.
This conference will provide an opportunity to understand Turkmenistan’s past path in these years, to sum up, to assess the current development stage of the country.
I think there is no necessity to prove to anybody the continuing role of the neutrality status not only for the long-term interests of Turkmenistan’s people, but also in strengthening peace and stability in the region as a whole, the head of our state said.
The decision to declare Turkmenistan a neutral state was taken in a period, when practically all post-soviet republics were in active search of optimal path of their further development- an own national model of building the future of their countries after the collapse of the USSR.
It should be noted, that each of the former soviet republics has chosen its own path of independent development taking into account the specifics and characteristic features.
For young independent Turkmenistan, neutrality has become a fundamental basis and a form of implementing long-term goals and tasks, where internal and external policy of the country found their harmonious manifestation.
Modern period of development of Turkmenistan as a state with permanent positive neutrality status is inextricably linked with the name of Gurnanguly Berdimuhamedov. Turkmen neutrality has been filled with qualitatively new content since his commencement at the Presidential post, President of our country said.
Declaring Turkmenistan’s openness to international community and readiness for wide international cooperation from the UN tribune, the nation’s leader completely dispelled the perception of neutrality in the world as a step towards self-isolation, restriction of international contacts and partnerships. This was the starting point of a new foreign policy strategy of Turkmenistan.
For the past period President of Turkmenistan has come up with several constructive ideas and proposals on topical issues of maintaining international peace and security, cooperation in transport-communications spheres and energy sector, environmental protection, saving the Aral Sea, including the initiative to establish in Ashgabat the UN Regional Centre for preventive diplomacy in Central Asia.
The President of Uzbekistan noted that proposals of Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on developing an agreement on transport in the Caspian sea, adopting UN Special interregional program on transport development, convening in Turkmenistan of a high-level regional symposium, devoted to practical implementation of the UN General Assembly resolutionon transport corridors deserve special attention and support.
Possessing a solid transit and transport potential, Turkmenistan currently with other neighboring countries forms an extensive network infrastructure of multimodal type, including railways, road, naval and air transportation. Transport arteries of our countries are destined to become an integrated link of the single system, ensuring for all countries of the region effective access to ports of Iran, Persian Gulf and the Black Sea coast countries, further to markets of South-East Asia and the Middle East as well as North Africa.
Our meeting today takes place in a rapidly changing and ambiguous international situations, growing geopolitical tensions and confrontations, continuing global financial and economic crisis, volatility in global markets.
The growing scale of international terrorism, extremism and radicalism calls for the most serious concern. The world is experiencing dynamic and deep transformation processes, the whole architecture of international security is changing.
I think there is no need to repeat the well-known truth that there is no vacuum in nature, the head of our state noted. Where there is a vacuum, it is populated primarily by various destructive and violent terrorist forces without barriers or restrictions.
Current situation in neighboring Afghanistan can be described as a sluggish confrontation between opposing forces - mainly government forces and the Taliban. Forced withdrawal of the ISAF military contingent and subsequent reduction of external financial support for Afghanistan has only exacerbated the situation.
And the natural result is what we see – the vacuum in this country, formed as a result of the withdrawal of foreign troops, is already being filled by aggressive terrorist groups, which are displaced from the Middle East.
I am convinced that however the situation unfolds in Afghanistan, there is no solution to the Afghan problem except peaceful political negotiations among the main confronting parties under the aegis of the UN, Islam Karimov underlined. It is important to resume the negotiation process between the government and the "Taliban" movement. The parties should not tie the commencement of the negotiation process with any preconditions. Any circumstances should not be an obstacle, but a subject for negotiation. It is also necessary to have a strong political will and readiness for mutual concessions and compromises.
Compromise, once again a compromise, mutual concessions of opposing sides is what can lead out of the impasse the Afghan problem.
Uzbekistan’s position on Afghan settlement is clear and open, Islam Karimov noted. We, as a neighboring state with Afghanistan, build and will build with it stable and friendly relations on a bilateral basis on the basis national interests of both sides, principle policy of non-interference in internal affairs.
That is why Uzbekistan as a non-aligned state, took the well informed and thoroughly thought-out step, making for itself a fundamental choice to conduct a peaceful policy and not to engage in military-political alliances and coalitions, to prevent stationing of foreign military bases in its territory, not to participate in peacekeeping operations abroad.
The similarity of approaches to assessing and understanding ambiguous and complex changes in the global and regional balance of power, readiness for a frank discussion of these and other key issues of our time brings us closer with Turkmenistan, the President of our country said.
Uzbekistan has consistently supported fully balanced foreign policy strategy of positive neutrality of Turkmenistan, the initiatives, aimed at strengthening international and regional security, economic integration and sustainable development of our vast region.
I am convinced that the concept of neutrality, which proclaimed the openness of Turkmenistan to all forms of constructive international cooperation, will continue to serve to strengthen the independence and sovereignty of the country, promote its national interests on the world stage, Islam Karimov said in conclusion.
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov met President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov within the frameworks of the visit.
Cooperation between Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan are consistently developing all spheres. Friendship, trust and respect between the heads of the two states has a major significance in this.
The parties highly assessed the Uzbek-Turkmen relations and exchanged views on prospects of further developing bilateral cooperation, issues of strengthening regional and international security during the meeting.
The situation has exacerbated in various parts of the world, increasing the threat of terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, the head of our state stressed. Today, terrorism is diverse and multifaceted, and it’s necessary to combat its root causes and sources.
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to President Islam Karimov for taking part in the festive events and international conference, highlighted the consistent development of fruitful cooperation between our countries in all spheres.