18.02.07 05:21


In an interview with Chinese Xinhua information agency the President of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, first of all, thanked the Chinese government and President Hu Jintao personally for offering condolences and sympathy in connection with the demise of the first president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov.

Berdymukhammedov noted that Turkmens are proud of friendly relations with the People\'s Republic of China and regard strengthening and expanding the bilateral relations as a factor of historic importance. Modern China exemplifies social stability, steady development of economy followed by the increased well being of the society. He noted that Turkmen-Chinese relations have very good and long-term prospects in all major areas of bilateral relations. The most promising spheres of cooperation include fuel-energy complex, agriculture, textile industry, transport and communication, science, culture, education and healthcare.

\"We are in favor of equal and mutually respectful cooperation, strict adherence to principles of territorial integrity and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Turkmenistan and China cooperate productively in the international arena, first of all, within the framework of big international organizations as the UN,\" Gurbanguly Berdymukhkammedov said.

The president of Turkmenistan noted the significance of the official visit by Saparmurat Niyazov to China in 2006 during which the Joint Declaration and General Agreement on Implementation of the gas project Turkmenistan-China and Turkmen natural gas sales to China were signed. Berdymukhkammedov said that Turkmen and Chinese oil and gas specialists are actively carrying out joint work in accordance with the General Agreement.

However, the head of Turkmenistan stressed that the Turkmen side believes that the scope of cooperation in the sphere of investments should not be limited only to the projects on extraction and transportation of oil and gas.

\"This is only one, yet fundamental area for cooperation which along with other spheres lies in the basis of our plans of creation of multifunctional and self-sufficient economy.\"

As of today, Turkmenistan has registered 19 investment projects totaling US $ 238,7 million and Yuan 60 million. Cooperation between two countries is also promoted by 12 Turkmen-Chinese joint ventures dealing with supplying equipment and providing services in the oil and gas sector, healthcare, transportation and tourism sector. Turkmenistan buys various equipment and machinery for the oil and gas sector, transport and communication.

\"I am pleased that it was Chinese locomotives and trains who carried the first passengers on the new trans-Karakum railway between Ashgabat and Dashoguz,\" the president of Turkmenistan said.

As regards foreign policy priorities, Turkmenistan will steadfastly adhere to its foreign policy course which was set by the first president, Saparmurat Niyazov. The international-legal status of permanent neutrality serves as the basis for Turkmenistan in developing equal and mutually respectful relations with leading world powers and regional countries.

\"In this context, developing and strengthening friendly ties with China has a special status in Turkmenistan\'s foreign policy, Berdymukhkammedov said. This is particularly important in view of the fact that in the 21st century Asia will play a leading role in international politics and economics, with China playing an important part in that owing to a great extent to its dynamic growth and power.\"

\"Our people live and work in peace and prosperity. They are confident in their future, the Turkmen leader continued. In this regard, I am pleased to note that the atmosphere of friendship, openness, mutual understanding and trust in relations between our countries serves as the solid foundation for that. An extensive legal basis accounting for dozens of interstate agreements and interdepartmental accords also serves the noble goal of developing the bilateral relations. Implementation of agreements and joint projects contributes to the fact that our countries enjoy the unique model of cooperation covering various levels of partnership, permanent contacts between key ministries and establishments, joint work of specialists in various spheres.\"

In conclusion, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov expressed confidence in great prospects of Turkmen-Chinese relations and wished brotherly people of China well being, happiness and prosperity.

According to the report by Xinhua information agency, 15.02.2007

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