H. E. Sapar Berdiniyazov, a former ambassador to Pakistan and presently Ambassador at Large, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkmenistan gave a talk on “Turkmenistan’s Policy of Neutrality and Peace” at the Institute today. Just three days ago on the 15th of March, Turkmenistan celebrated the 20th anniversary of “Turkmen Policy of Permanent Neutrality”. The Ambassador talked about how 12 December, 1995 is forever ingrained in Turkmenistan’s history as the day when the international community acknowledged Turkmenistan’s peaceful foreign policy and constructive initiatives aimed at maintaining world peace.
He said that as a neutral country, Turkmenistan wanted to work with the countries of the regional to establish peace in Afghanistan, and to overcome the threats by non-state actors. He stated that energy is one of the main priorities of the Turkmen foreign policy and being a major natural gas exporter in the world market, one of Turkmenistan’s aims is to increase the volume of freight and traffic with the Caucasus, South, Southwest and Southeast Asia. He specifically mentioned the gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI , and hoped that the project would be initiated this year.
Mr. Berdiniyazov highlighted Pakistan’s special relationship with Turkmenistan not only as the second country to have recognized Turkmenistan’s independence, but also providing economic assistance after the fall of the Soviet Union. He particularly paid tribute to the Pakistan Foreign Service Academy which trained young Turkmen diplomats in the immediate years following independence. He also mentioned Pakistan’s importance as an important regional player due to its strategic location adding that efforts were being made to promote people to people contacts besides improving trade and economic ties between Turkmenistan and Pakistan.
The Ambassador said that the neutral status of Turkmenistan provides a great opportunity for mediation in conflict resolution and that Turkmenistan is a firm advocate of the peace process in neighboring Afghanistan. He said that Turkmenistan can act as a bridge between the countries of the region and play the role of a catalyst in the energy, transport and infrastructure corridors.
The event was also attended by Turkmenistan’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Mr. Atadjan Movlamov and Rector of the International University for Humanity and Development, Ashgabat.