Turkmenistan’s Peaceful and Prosperous Neutrality Policy
World was divided into friends and foes. Both World Wars were fought along this divide. The post-war world continued to be divided along the ideological divide between capitalist and communist nations. Multi-polar centers have been emerging after the end among nations. There are hardly any State that frames its foreign policy on the basis of neutrality but only retains its right to defense in case it was attack. To preserve their sovereignty, weaker States prefer to side with a relatively stronger State. In this sense, Turkmenistan has set a new example. It is a small State with a population of 6.2 million and a territory of 491,210 km. The country borders with Uzbekistan, Iran, Afghanistan, and Kazakhstan. In its foreign policy, the Republic of Turkmenistan is ‘the most neutral State’ and especially amongst Asian States. Even European neutralized States namely; Austria, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Sweden, and Malta are members of the European Union, which has certain strategic and political dimensions. The neutrality of Vatican slakes on religious grounds. Many Asian States have been aligned in one or the other way but the principles of neutrality of the Republic of Turkmenistan are most paramount. It avoids taking sides with other States on the basis of strategic and political Turkmenistan, however, is a part of the economic organizations such as the ten-member Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). It also joins the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). Going back to recent history, six Central Asian republics got independence after the breakup of the former Soviet Union in 1990. Turkmenistan was of these republics announced its independence on 27 October 1991. On 12 December 1995, United Nations adopted a resolution that Turkmenistan will permanently follow neutrality to promote world peace and security. It is Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and a number of neighbor States acted as cosponsors of the UN resolution. On 27 December 1995, a neutrality law was promulgated to ensure country’s neutrality domestically and internationally on the basis of This was considered to be in line with UN Charter to promote global peace. Turkmenbashi (father of the nation) President Niyazov Saparmurat, who ruled prior to independence from 1985 to 1991 and from 27 October 1991 to December 2006 was the real architect of Turkmenistan’s neutrality. The objectives of Turkmenistan’s foreign policy thus become highly peaceful with all States on the principles of equality of rights, mutual respect, and non-interference in the internal affairs of other States. Under this law, Turkmenistan’s Government does not participate in alliances and blocs created by certain powers to promote their causes and goals. Therefore, being part of Central legacy, Turkmenistan did not join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) when the body was created in 2001. Turkmenistan is the Guest Attendant of the SCO along with the Commonwealth of Independent States CIS and Association of the South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The successor of President Nizayov, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted in 2014 SCO Summit that Turkmenistan’s relations with the SCO are an important area of international cooperation that is based on broad geographical and structural the country. The law also prohibits the Government in participating in inter-state associations and organizations. The law will also not allow Turkmenistan to wage wars or to enter into war on behest of any power or State except in case of self-defense of Turkmenistan. In case of attack on Turkmenistan, the Government would ask other State 0r States and the United Nations for help. The law further states that Turkmenistan will not have, produce, and distribute nuclear, chemical, bacteriological, and other weapons of mass destruction, and allocate the military bases to foreign countries. The constitutional law of Turkmenistan on permanent neutrality also envisages that Turkmenistan develop international economic co-operation on the basis of the taking into account of the interests of all sides involved in this process. Turkmenistan, on the other hand, did not join the recently established the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) set up by China in October last year. Along with Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan is not a member of the Asian Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB). The basic purpose of the AIIB was to upgrade centuries old physical infrastructure of Asia, which is not suitable for development and poverty reduction in Asia. AIIB will provide massive funding for infrastructure and investment in Asia.