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Trans-Asian Gas Pipeline
by President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov
at the opening ceremony of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline,

(December 14, 2009)

Dear Mr. Hu Jintao,
Dear Nursultan Nazarbayev,
Dear Islam Abduganiyevich,
Dear friends,
Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, let me welcome our high guests - President of China Hu Jintao, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Abduganiyevich Karimov and all participants of today's event and to express gratitude for accepting our invitation to visit Turkmenistan.

As you know, welding the first joint of the new gas-transport main was carried out at a ceremony on 29 August 2007.

Today is a festive day. We will launch a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, one of the largest energy projects of our time. In complex natural and climatic conditions there were laid down seven thousand kilometers of the pipeline in a short period of time, which is short even by modern standards. The pipeline will deliver forty billion cubic meters of Turkmen natural gas to China annually for the next thirty years. Dozens of large factories and plants, ensuring its smooth operation, have been constructed.

The pipeline runs through the territories of our countries, reviving the ancient "Silk Road" that was used for intensive exchange of goods between Asia and Europe. This is a very complicated project that employed latest achievements of science, modern technologies and engineering solutions. Dozens of major companies from different countries were involved in construction of the pipeline. It should be noted that the pipeline was built in compliance with all environmental standards. Taking into account all the parameters, we can talk about reliability of the pipeline and security of transportation of natural gas. I can tell you that projects of such complexity can be implemented only by economically strong, stable, confident of their future countries who are perfectly aware of their common goals and who clearly see the prospects of long-term cooperation.

That was the key to our overall success, harmonious and efficient work of the Turkmen, Chinese, Uzbek and Kazakh specialists. I sincerely thank them all for their selfless work. And of course, the pipeline would not be possible without the decisive factor - political will, wisdom and foresight of the leaders of the project's member countries.

Allow me, dear Mr. Hu Jintao, dear Nursultan Abishevich, dear Islam Abduganiyevich to express my deep appreciation for the support of the project and the ability to mobilize and direct all necessary resources for its brilliant implementation.

Dear friends,

The construction of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline is not simply a mutually beneficial economic and commercial project. This is an event of enormous political significance. It confirms that the combination and compatibility of interests of states in the international energy market, meaning also high geopolitics, are real and achievable. This project is convincing evidence of the fact that if there is a political will and constructive approach one can achieve the main goal - to balance the interests of all and each of the participants of the energy triad - producers, transit countries and consumers.

Our pipeline fully corresponds to this condition, showing an example of responsibility and vision of its members, their commitment to holistic approaches and principles of mutual relations in the energy sector, common vision and perceptions of political and economic content of the inter-state cooperation in these issues. It is deeply symbolic in this regard that the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Republic of Uzbekistan actively supported Turkmenistan's initiative to establish international mechanisms for reliable and stable energy supply, and co-sponsored a resolution of the UN General Assembly which was adopted in December last year.

I am convinced that in this context, the successful implementation of this project could become the prototype of the entire future architecture of international energy partnership. No less important is the fact that the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline will have a positive impact in the future on the overall situation in the region and beyond, become a serious factor of security in Asia, and provide additional stability throughout the system of continental political and economic relations.

The commissioning of the pipeline is of paramount importance for our nations.
The pipeline will provide a new powerful impetus to our economic development, bring heat and light to our houses, create new jobs and contribute to the construction of social and industrial infrastructure to attract large foreign investments. All this will benefit people, promote their welfare, and enhance the level and quality of their life. In this regard, the project meets the fundamental interests of our peoples.

Dear friends

The commissioning of the Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan-China gas pipeline will become the golden page of the annals of relations between our countries.

Together we have achieved an outstanding result by building the gas pipeline that in many respects has no analogues in the world.

I would especially like to thank Mr Hu Jintao and all our Chinese friends. They made a lot to make sure that this unique pipeline has been built in the shortest possible time.

I congratulate all those present on this historic occasion. I congratulate the people of our sister countries!

Thank you for your attention.

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"Neutral Turkmenistan" newspaper, 16 December 20

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