Qatar and Turkmenistan… Stable Relations Based on Mutual Understanding
The State of Qatar and the Republic of Turkmenistan enjoy distinct and stable relations based on mutual understanding and respect, and common willingness to develop and upgrade these relations at all levels.
The exchange of visits between HH the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and HE President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow represents a strong boost for the bilateral relations and affirms the joint keenness on continued coordination between the two countries at all levels.
HH the Emir’s visit to Turkmenistan last March represented a great opportunity for signing many cooperation agreements and partnerships between the two countries in the fields of finance, sports, tourism, education, transportation and culture.
The visit by President Berdimuhamedow to Doha coincides with the 21th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries, and marks the President’s first visit after winning the presidential elections by 97.7%.
Qatar-Turkmenistan joint committee achieved great progress in strengthening cooperation between the two countries. The second meeting held last November under the chairmanship of HE Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and Turkmenistan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rasit Meredow represented a comprehensive review of the various aspects of the bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, particularly in the areas of trade and investment, and ways of enhancing them to fulfill the aspirations of the higher leaderships in both countries.
The capital Ashgabat hosted the committee’s first meeting in January 2013 and discussed cooperation between the two countries in the economic, trade and industrial sectors, as well as education, health, tourism, energy, sports and air transport fields.
On January 4, the Cabinet approved a draft memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation between the Government of Qatar and the Government of Turkmenistan as one of the most distinguished areas in the two countries at regional and international levels.
An executive program for cooperation between the foreign ministries of Qatar and Turkmenistan was also signed last year to undertake various actions during the years 2016-2017, including consultations on bilateral topics, discussing ways to further developing relations between the two countries, working within the framework of international organizations and the United Nations for cooperation in the trade and economy field, consultation on consular matters, in addition to issues of common interest between the two friendly countries.
Turkmenistan is a key player in the geopolitical arena as one of the largest gas exporters. The country holds the world’s fourth largest natural gas reserves and has the substantial potential to increase gas exports through diversification of routes and expansion of partnership in export markets. Turkmenistan is also one of the pillars of the gas industry in Central and Southeast Asia through its gas pipeline project, which includes Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan.
Turkmenistan pays special attention to developing international energy cooperation as key to serve its national interests and meet the needs of its international partners. In this regard, the leader of Turkmenistan initiated the “Resolution Reliable and Stable Transit of Energy and Its Role in Ensuring Sustainable Development and International Cooperation” which was adopted at the plenary meeting of the 67th session of the UN General Assembly.
Turkmenistan has opted to adopt (Neutrality) as political principle. The Turkmenistan international legal status (Permanent Neutrality) was recognized by the United Nations, when the General Assembly on Dec. 12, 1995 unanimously adopted a resolution to approve it. The country adopted at the same time in December 1995 its constitutional law which acknowledged Neutrality as the principle of foreign policy.
The Islamic culture plays an important role in rooting Qatari-Turkmen relations where the Republic of Turkmenistan, is considered to be a cornerstone to Islamic history and civilization. Turkmenistan’s ancient cities of Nisa and Meru testify to the countries contribution to Islamic civilization through heavy caliber scholars like Al Marwazi and Al Nassa’ei. Turkmenistan represents a history museum contains a treasure of knowledge and science.
The area of Turkmenistan is 491,200 square kilometers. It is bordered by Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, and the Caspian Sea. The capital city is Ashgabat. Turkmenistan’s population is six millions, nearly 85% of them are Turkmen, while the rest constitute different ethnicities like Uzbeks, Russians, Kazakhs, Persians, Armenians and Azeris. The majority of the population are Muslims.
The country has seen an economic and urban boom due to political stability and good relations with neighboring countries. Turkmenistan seeks to attract more tourism through establishing a several new tourist projects. Ashgabat was recently noted by the Guinness Book of World Records for having 543 white marble-clad buildings covering a total area of 4.5 million square meters.
The 133-meters Ashgabat Flagpole is one of the touristic monuments in Ashgabat. It is among the 5 tallest free-standing flagpole in the world. Next to Independence Monument of Turkmenistan, is the Independence Museum, a wonderful architectural masterpiece surrounded by huge statues of the Turkmen historic heroes.
The most famous cities of Turkmenistan are Turkmenbashi City, which was called Krasnovodsk during the Soviet era and Balkan City, a port with the largest oil refinery and the richest provinces of the Republic of Turkmenistan. (QNA)