Significance of Neutrality Policy for Turkmenistan
It is said that any country’s foreign political, social and economic environment. The same is also however true for the Turkmenistan, where the state is also implementing the principles of peace, harmony, tolerance and acceptance in the society by providing equal opportunities to the Turkmen people. Peaceful and determined nature learning form their great ancestors, who have always advised them to and resolves. The great Turkmen poet Magtymguly in his poetry has expressed several times these desires for united, peaceful and prosperous nation. If Turkmens would only tighten the Belt of Determination They could drink the Red Sea in their strength. So let the tribes of Teke, Yomut, Gokleng, Yazir, and Alili
Unite into one proud nation. End of Cold War and subsequent fall of Soviet Empire has resulted into the emergence of multiple successor states in Central Asian region. These states, after gaining independence, ought to adjust themselves with new political world order wherein they the rightful place within the region and international political system. Their efforts were directed towards shaping the statehood under new circumstances hence becoming active players in the world community. Among these states, the farsighted leadership of the Turkmenistan made crucial, central and far reaching decision towards taking a course of foreign policy strategy in order to build relationships in an international environment marred with avoid clinging to one alliance of power house or the other, Turkmenistan choose the principles of neutrality based on the values of peacefulness, noninterference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity and nonparticipation in international military alliances, treaties, and organizations hence to further strengthen the independence of Turkmenistan. This path of neutrality is based on historic identity of Turkmen people of being peace-loving, hardworking and coherent in their outlook for future. The major aim was to work diligently for the economic uplift of the country and brave countrymen hence to secure it from outside dangers and threats. The purpose for having this foreign policy discourse was also to create such conditions within the country in order to provide peace and prosperity for not only the countrymen but also building relations with the neighboring countries. Soon after independence, Turkmenistan announced its position of its positive neutrality in July 1992 at a summit of the Organization for Security and and later it was formally declared in Islamabad during summit meeting of Economic Cooperation Organization in March 1995. In October 1995, this position of positive neutrality further received endorsement during summit of Non Alignment Movement in Cartagena (Columbia). Finally, on 12 December 1995, during the summit meeting of UN General Assembly, the position of Positive Neutrality was formally declared international and was later supported by 185 member states through adaptation of special resolution “Resolution on the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan” thus recognizing peaceful foreign policy of Turkmenistan. Neutral Turkmenistan was declared to follow the obligations of being positively neutral by not joining any military or political block, having limited army with having UN platform for resolution of disputes and follow the humane principles and good intentions as guiding forces for
having such a strategic position. This the country to build harmonious and peaceful relations with its neighbors hence to promote development through close cooperation and non-interference in other state matters. In Ashgabat, seven years ago in 2007, United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia was established. The goal for this Center was “to assist and support the governments of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in building their measures and genuine partnership in order to respond to existing threats and emerging challenges in the Central Asian region”. The Centre is meant also to promote dialogue among the Central Asian countries to resolve the emerging threats. It was mandated that the organization will keep regular contacts with international organizations, working in the area to promote their several missions. At the early years of independence, under the leadership of Mr.Sapamurat Niyazov, the country was strict in its neutrality stance and was remained introvert in its outlook. The aim was to continue work on building nation and state hood, internal strengthening of functional and organizational capacities of state institutions. But at the same time, the country began exploring the possibilities of having cooperation in energy resource exploration, but in a limited manner. Under the leadership of current President Mr.Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, since 2007, Turkmenistan continued its diversion toward making several collaborative agreements with international community for trading its vast energy reserves. While maintaining neutral stance, Turkmenistan has remained vital in its role in international and regional politics, especially the regional energy security needs. After assuming that “Turkmenistan is undergoing a national ‘renaissance’, part of which involves the nation seeking greater integration with the outside world and the global economy”. President Berdymukhamedov is taking having ‘pipeline diplomacy’ through the policy of engagement with the outside world and global economy. The state of energy resources and potential will not only serve the national interest but also essential for peace and prosperity of the region and the world as a whole. With a careful caution and wise steps, Turkmenistan is playing its deeper and powerful role in the global politics. The constructive and progressive foreign policy engagement of the Turkmenistan has become a “weighty factor’ in maintaining international peacekeeping here while describing about role of Turkmenistan in regional peace, the Ashgabat was center of UN sponsored dialogue amongst the warring parties during the Tajik Civil war. Role of also been laudable and vital as the country has provided humanitarian aid along with economic assistance to the people of Afghanistan on regular basis.
The major dimension of taking this foreign policy course is to unleash the energy potential of the country in a manner to be fruitful the country but for the larger region in a most pragmatic and expedient manner possible. This policy stance helped the country to outgrow in an independent manner in several dimensions including trade cooperation, economic empowerment, cultural and humanitarian linkages with neighbors and international partners. Several headways have been achieved in developing numerous cooperation linkages with countries from across the world and they are based on the development of multidimensional pipelines infrastructure to the energy dearth economies. TAPI project is one such project where Turkmenistan has opened its cooperation with regional countries to share its valuable energy resources. According to one British company found in 2011 that Turkmenistan’s energy deposits contained around 918 trillion cubic feet of gas (Tcf) which means that the country possesses the fourth-largest reserves of conventional natural gas in the world. Because of the country’s outreach to the regional markets, it would soon become a “greatly-coveted supplier” of the energy products Termed as “Peace Pipeline” Turkmenistan has always remained an earnest supporter to initiate this project for the peace and prosperity of the region. TAPI gas pipeline project would Kandhar (Afghanistan), Quetta, Multan the pipeline will be the Indian town of Fazilka, near the border between India and Pakistan. The total length of the pipeline would be 1,680 kilometer will be built and operated by a consortium of national oil companies from the four countries, furthermore the cost of the project was just over 3$billion in 2003; today it is $7.6billion. Currently several joint working group meetings are going on between the stakeholders about the possible leader of the consortium to construct this project. It is expected that the project will be operational this year, if all the contending issues are to be resolved. The pipeline will transport 33 billion standard cubic meter (scm) gas from the Dauletabad gas Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-KazakhstanChina pipeline and Turkmenistan-Iran projects which are underway. The role of the government of Turkmenistan is laudable for its outreaching to the region for sharing of resources and smiles with the neighboring countries hence having stabilizing and reconciliatory effect Afghanistan.