KAZAKH AMBASSADOR TO TURKMENISTAN VYACHESLAV GIZZATOV TALKS ABOUT DEVELOPMENT OF BILATERAL RELATIONS
The Kazakh Ambassador to Ashgabat, Vyacheslav Gizzatov, dwelled on the development of bilateral relations in an article published in the Turkmen mass media on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
"Fraternal Turkmenistan occupies a special place in the foreign policy of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have never had any political problems in their relations over the period of historic development. After gaining independence we have not only kept but also enriched our forefathers' principles of mutual respect and neighborliness.
We have established a considerable legal basis of bilateral relations, accounting for about 50 documents, over the years of independence. We succeeded in resolution of a highly delicate problem of delimitation of the Kazakh-Turkmen state border. The first round of bilateral talks on the border delimitation was held this November.
Our countries also have no major disputes over the establishment of the legal status of the Caspian Sea. A Kazakh-Turkmen agreement on the Caspian Sea's bottom delimitation, which is actually ready for signing, was worked out and agreed on at the recent bilateral talks.
On the whole, trade is developing steadily, although trade turnover doesn't correspond to the economic potential of both states as compared to US$86,8 mln in 2003, and we are not satisfied with this fact.
We are optimistic about the future of the Kazakh-Turkmen relations, for we are both interested and have necessary conditions for their robust and large-scale development.
Mutually beneficial use of each other's transit-transportation potential as well as cooperation between our energy complexes is of particular interest. We have a number of large strategic projects of the regional scale, implementation of which may start in the near future. The point, in fact, is about reconstruction and modernization of the Central Asia - Center system of main gas pipelines, which runs through the territory of Kazakhstan too. This large project is a prerequisite for the implementation of a 25-year agreement between Turkmenistan and Russia on cooperation in the gas field.
A project on construction of the Caspian gas pipeline, running again through Kazakhstan, is also important.
There are also projects of the same scale on rail transportation development in the Asian region, implementation of which would involve both Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. This is a short list of projects of mutual cooperation between our countries for the foreseeable future.
The large Kazakh diaspora lives in Turkmenistan that has been contributing to the social-economic and cultural development of Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is the second home for them. They play an important role in strengthening the fraternal, neighborly relations between our nations.
The Kazakh-Turkmen relations have friendly nature thanks in many ways to personal trustworthy relations between the leaders of two countries - Nursultan Nazarbayev and Saparmurat Niyazov. Their meetings have always signified an important benchmark in our relations, opening new prospects for mutually advantageous cooperation. Undoubtedly, the upcoming visit of Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev to Turkmenistan will give the further strong impetus to strengthening of the Kazakh-Turkmen friendship and cooperation.
I would like to emphasize that people in Kazakhstan are well aware and happy for Turkmenistan's successes in solving the most difficult social-economic tasks, which made it possible to achieve the dynamic economic growth, upgrade the industrial base, establish new sectors of economy and ensure strong social policy. The scale of construction works in Ashgabat that has become the most beautiful city in the region in a short period of time is very impressive.
I have had a lot of fruitful meetings with members of the government, public activists, artists and ordinary citizens and visited many regions of Turkmenistan in my one-year stay in Turkmenistan. I have met the warmest treatment of Kazakhstan everywhere I have been to. I was particularly pleased to see the economic growth in the regions, growth in prosperity of ordinary people that participate with enthusiasm in the implementation of the social-economic programs of the president of Turkmenistan.
People in Kazakhstan showed great interest in getting acquainted with the fundamental work by president Saparmurat Turkmenbashi, "Ruhnama", which is a spiritual core of the further development of the Turkmen people. The ideas of establishing a society based on the principles of humanism and moral purity professed by "Ruhnama" have found understanding in the hearts of the peoples of our countries, which are tied by centuries long history, traditions and language roots.
To comprehend spiritual values of the Turkmen brothers in full a Kazakh version of "Ruhnama" was printed at the initiative of the Embassy, the first copy of which I had the honor to present to Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov on the eve of the national holiday - Day of State Flag. At present, plans are being made to translate the second volume of "Ruhnama" into Kazakh language."