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Erkebulan Sapiev: “Turkmenistan is an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan”

Erkebulan Sapiev: “Turkmenistan is an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan”

Today the people of Kazakhstan celebrate the Independence Day. The country celebrates 29 years from the moment of sovereignty gaining. 

On the occasion of the main public holiday, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan Erkebulan Sapiev: addressed the people of Turkmenistan. Text is published on the pages of state newspaper “Neutral Turkmenistan”.

“On 16th of December 1991 Kazakhstan proclaimed its independence.  Under the supervision of the first President Nursoltan Nazarbaev the construction of new independent state began. The country’s foreign policy also began to take shape.  Strategically and tactically correctly located external policy priorities and correctly built foreign policy, considering the realities of that time, allowed the new independent state to gain strength and firmly stand on its feet.

According to the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kasym-Zhomart Kemelevich Tokayev, foreign policy has played an extremely important role in the construction and strengthening of Kazakhstan's statehood.

The main tasks of new independent state, without doubts, were: acknowledgment of Kazakhstan as fully legitimate international legal entity by the world community and entry of neutral Kazakhstan into world’s political and economic space.  Then, in the early 90s, many were worried about the question:  “What will be the foreign policy of Kazakhstan?”. It became even more topical when it came to the faith of soviet nuclear potential, inherited by Kazakhstan.

In this complicated situation President N.Nazarbaev accepted the most adjusted and balanced decision for that time to give up nuclear weapons and to join the Nuclear Weapons Non-Proliferation Treaty dated 01.06.1968. This historic decision of N.Nazarbaev lead to generating confidence in  Kazakhstan and its leader on the part of the leading countries of the world and the world community as a whole, and became a practical contribution of Kazakhstan to ensuring regional and global security.

This decision fundamentally influenced on formation of positive image of Kazakhstan. It demonstrated to the whole world Kazakhstan's openness and readiness to develop relations with countries based on trust, mutual respect, equality and mutually beneficial partnership. It also laid a solid foundation for the formation of a balanced multi-vector foreign policy of Kazakhstan. 

Moreover, we can say with confidence that this decision to renounce nuclear weapons was the initial stage in the formation of public and economic diplomacy in Kazakhstan, the growth of investment attractiveness, and the country's recognition in the world.  The active foreign policy activities of the first President firmly strengthened the international authority of Kazakhstan.

The incumbent President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kasym-Zhomart Tokayev made a colossal contribution to the formation of Kazakhstan's foreign policy and strengthening its international authority. As a statesman, professional and successful diplomat, he served as Prime Minister, UN Deputy Secretary General, Head of the UN European Office in Geneva, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

Central Asian states play a key role in Kazakhstan's foreign policy, among which brotherly Turkmenistan occupies a special place.  From the first days of independence, our countries have established friendly and fraternal relations based on mutual trust and equal cooperation. Turkmenistan is an important strategic partner of Kazakhstan both in Central Asia and in the Caspian region.  A constructive political dialog has been established between our countries.  Kazakhstan is interested in further expanding trade relations with Turkmenistan, as well as in strengthening interregional and cultural and humanitarian ties.

The level of political trust and cooperation between Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan is steadily strengthening from year to year.  Our countries, based on a common history, similarity of cultures and common interests, always provide each other with mutual support in the international arena.

The dynamics of bilateral trade continues to grow steadily.  In 2019, trade between our countries increased by 46 percent compared to 2018, amounting to 146 million USA dollars.  In January - October of this year, this indicator was at the level of 109.7 million USA dollars. Taking into account the quarantine measures and the current situation in the world, by the end of 2020, we still hope to achieve positive growth.

We manage to quickly resolve many issues thanks to the successful work of the Kazakh - Turkmen Intergovernmental Commission on Economic, Scientific, Technical and Cultural Cooperation.  It is gratifying to note the active development of cross-border cooperation.  Much attention is paid to the potential of interaction between the Mangistau region of Kazakhstan and the Balkan velayat of Turkmenistan.  In the future, the creation of a special border trade zone on the border of the two countries.

In this context, road, rail and sea transport play a key role.  Our countries have a huge transport and transit potential for the operation of the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway, the development of the seaports of Aktau and Turkmenbashi in terms of mutually beneficial cooperation in the implementation of transit traffic.

The agro-industrial complex can also become a priority area.  Turkmenistan has great opportunities to produce vegetables and cucurbits and livestock products.  And from these positions there is an opportunity to create bridges of cooperation with the western regions of Kazakhstan.  In turn, Kazakhstan has experience in growing grain crops, prospects for integration in terms of selection and seed production are opening.

Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have big plans to further strengthen cultural and humanitarian cooperation.  Higher educational institutions of the countries take an active part in educational exhibitions.  Over the past three years, Ashgabat has been visited by representatives of the “Nazarbayev University”, the Eurasian National University named after L.N. Gumilyov, Kazakh State Pedagogical University named after Abay, South Kazakhstan State University named after M.Auezov and others.

Fruitful cooperation and exchange of experience smoothly realizes he Eurasian National University named after L.N. Gumilyov and Turkmen State University named after Mahtumkuli in the framework of signed agreement on cooperation and mutual understanding The sides plan to expand such experience by signing the number of agreements and Memorandums between other higher educational institutions of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Kazakh - Turkmen relations meets all the conditions of mutually beneficial partnership on the principles of equality and mutual respect. There are opportunities for consistent expansion and deepening of cooperation across the entire spectrum of the bilateral agenda, as well as further advance the existing relations to an even higher level.

On this significant day for the Kazakh people, I want to thank the brotherly people of Turkmenistan for their support and friendship.  I am confident that the traditions of good-neighborly cooperation and friendly relations between our fraternal peoples will continue to rapidly expand and strengthen.  Erkebulan Sapiev, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Turkmenistan”.


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