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The visit of the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to Turkmenistan proved that Ahgabat remains one of the most coherent supporters of the United Nations approach to the processes going on here. This also relates to the general situation in the region, situation in Afghanistan and Caspian Sea issues and, not the least, internal policy procedures. It will be correct to quote here Mr. Kofi Annan during the meeting with the President of Turkmenistan on October 23:

"I would like to pay tribute to Turkmenistan's policy of neutrality, good relations with its neighbours, and constructive cooperation with the rest of the world, which the United Nations General Assembly unanimously recognized in 1996 in a resolution on the permanent neutrality status of Turkmenistan. In that spirit of "positive neutrality", your country actively contributed to finding a political solution to the civil war in Tajikistan, hosting three rounds of inter-Tajik talks here in Ashgabat - which provided the turning point in the peace process - while at the same time giving shelter to thousands of Tajik refugees. Similarly, Turkmenistan has been a strong supporter of the United Nations peacemaking efforts in Afghanistan - hosting several meetings of the Afghan parties in the period preceding the Bonn conference.

Today, it is playing a vital role as one of the most important corridors for the provision of much needed humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan. Turkmenistan's strong commitment to international order, and trust in the United Nations, has also led us to undertake joint preventive action to defuse tensions on sensitive issues, such as the delimitation of the Caspian Sea. Let me also congratulate you on abolishing of the death penalty. In doing so, your country has not only lived up to the expectations of the United Nations and other organizations, such as the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, but has also taken a fundamental step to strengthen respect for human rights and human dignity".

The words of Kofi Annan, taking into account all possible mistakes with translation into Russian, leave no room for different interpretation except one - which is that UN and Turkmenistan pursue common goals and move in the direction of their realization from the same ideological positions. It was not by chance when President Nyazov stated at the meeting with the UN Secretary General that neutral Turkmenistan (stress-mark on the first word) is a "brainchild of the UN". The point here is not only about the above-mentioned resolution of 1995 but that today the policy Ashgabat in the region is objectively a continuation and supplementation of the general strategy of the UN in a global meaning at the core of which lie the same categories - peace, stability and security. Without them it is impossible to talk about serious achievements in the different fields of social, economical or cultural development of the peoples.

The following needs to be pointed out here: the foreign policy of Turkmenistan is strongly regionally oriented. Turkmenistan does not try on global clothes and acts in accordance with objective geopolitical realities, its inner potential, traditions of its historical and ethnic-cultural development, being confident that it is capable of constructive contributing to the cause of peace, good neighbour relations, stability and prosperity exactly at the regional level. Hence, Turkmenistan does not accept a role of an impartial observer of the UN activity, even favorably minded one, conducts an active diplomatic work to give UN more effectiveness and enhance its political role and influence in the world.

According to President Nyazov "UN is not only a forum for states to share their visions on different and important issues. UN must become principal and irreplaceable mechanism in providing a comprehensive peace and security, high international body to resolve arising disputes and conflicts. The UN Charter based on the ideals of peace, humanism, equality, respect of sovereign rights of peoples and states must become a foundation of the world in the 21st century". And if any state sharing these principles and recognizing its own responsibilities for their realization does something specific in this direction it will give a sufficient support to UN to which they declare their love and respect on many occasions from various rostrums.

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By Sergey Ryabov

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