President of Turkmenistan clarifies principles of foreign policy strategy to Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was on a visit to Ashgabat, met with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov on November 2, 2007. As the State News Agency (TDH) reports, greeting his high guest, the Turkmen leader noted that he was happy to meet representatives of friendly Germany and that effective German-Turkmen partnership was steadily growing.
Saparmurat Niyazov singled out a number of areas of Turkmen-German cooperation that provide effective mechanism for realization of the huge partnership potential taking into account interests of both countries. It is quite interesting that this partnership covers various spheres - from oil and gas to healthcare and communications and processing industry, the president said. In particular, the regional industrial giant, Turkmenbashi complex of oil refineries, was reconstructed, or to be more precise, constructed and equipped anew with the participation of German companies. Several gas compressors and telephone stations were built. Finally, the foundation of contemporary national healthcare was actually laid down in cooperation with Siemens company. Now, Turkmenistan's healthcare has modern hospitals and diagnostic centres with state-of-the-art equipment.
Having touched on the prospects of partnership, Saparmurat Niyazov briefly characterized the achievements of Turkmenistan over 15 years of independence focusing on the oil and gas sector and the programme of its development until 2030 which was adopted at the national forum recently. Turkmenistan has got a powerful start in this sphere increasing the output and processing of hydrocarbon resources and transporting natural gas to Russia and Iran and to China in the near future. It is there, this sphere, that we see great prospects for cooperation, the head of state stressed. He invited German partners to establish closer cooperation on the mutually advantageous basis. In this context, the President of Turkmenistan familiarized his guests with the plans of the fuel-energy complex development, including construction of the Caspian gas pipeline where German partners could take the most active part.
From the point of view of bilateral relations, we consider Germany not only a promising partner but also a plenipotentiary of the EU where Germany will soon assume chairmanship, Saparmurat Niyazov pointed out.
Thanking the head of Turkmenistan for reception and positive interest to cooperation with Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier explained the purpose of his visit to Ashgabat - to establish a new bridge between Europe and rapidly developing region and Turkmenistan in particular. As the German minister emphasized he was impressed with the policy of neutral Turkmenistan based on the principles of peace, good neighborliness and practical contribution to resolution of regional conflicts. This is clearly proved by the example of support to neighboring Afghanistan that has been receiving Turkmen electricity at a reasonable price for several years now. We welcome the reconstruction of Afghanistan by peaceful means, by economic development, and this is especially important that the world community welcome exactly this approach. All the more so, Turkmenistan is guided by the humanistic tradition which is explicitly confirmed by the decision to abolish death penalty, the guest said.
The economic cooperation with Turkmenistan is the most perspective way of the bilateral cooperation, the German minister said. He fully shared Saparmurat Niyazov's view on this issue. We are also for the partnership in energy sector which is opening prospects from the point of accumulating necessary experience of our own in this important sector of the world economy. Our companies are ready to participate in all your projects and, of course, in the construction of the Caspian gas pipeline, the guest confirmed.
During the talks, the sides specified some aspects of further cooperation considering the above-mentioned proposals. There were also discussed new approaches to implementing the policy of mutually beneficial economic partnership in the interest of two countries' peoples and the universal peace. The sides also exchanged views on the whole range of other problems of mutual interest.
(Based on the report by TDH)