Statement by H.E. Mr. Serdar Berdimuhamedov the President of Turkmenistan at the Summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

(Samarkand, September 16, 2022)

 

Distinguished Heads of States and Governments,

Distinguished members of delegations, ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, let me welcome all the participants of today's meeting and express my gratitude to the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the respected Shavkat Mirziyoyev, for excellent organization, hospitality and created conditions for productive work.

Turkmenistan was invited to the meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization at the highest level as a guest of honor. We consider this high status as an important message, evidence of understanding of the great opportunities and prospects in the development of our partnership, the desire to give it a long-term and purposeful character.

My country fully shares that approach. In our assessments of the SCO's activities, we proceed from the premise that this association, based on mutual respect and equality, possessing a powerful political and economic potential, is now becoming a pole of attraction for many states seeking to create a space of peace and stability and mutually beneficial and sustainable partnership in Eurasia.

Our country is ready to cooperate with the Shanghai Organization, to build multifaceted, flexible forms and modalities of interaction in politics, security, the economy, trade and investment, in the cultural and humanitarian direction.

Against the background of the current complex processes taking place in the modern world, special responsibility is required, the consolidation of nations professing the principles of peacefulness, building a common strategy to preserve the global and regional security architecture, and preventing confrontation and unhealthy rivalry.

In this context, Turkmenistan, seeing the SCO as one of the most important pillars of continental stability, expresses its desire and readiness to establish closer and more substantive political and diplomatic cooperation, cooperation in such areas as the fight against terrorism, extremism, organized crime, drug trafficking and other types of illegal activities.

Among the priority goals that we would like to pursue together with the Shanghai Organization is the protection and global promotion of the rule of law and recognized international legal norms, the principles and spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, their inviolability and indispensability. In this regard, I consider it necessary to inform the leaders of the SCO countries today about the international initiatives of Turkmenistan at the upcoming session of the United Nations General Assembly.

Promoting the philosophy of trust-based dialogue in international relations, we intend to initiate the development of a draft resolution of the General Assembly "Dialogue is a guarantee of peace". We are convinced that the adoption of such a document will confirm the principled commitment of all UN Member States to a peaceful way to resolve conflict situations, no matter how difficult they may seem.

The restoration of a culture of respectful political dialogue is now acquiring universal significance as one of the key conditions for a responsible, non-confrontational approach, the search for opportunities for mutual understanding and the observance of a balance of interests when considering certain challenges. Proceeding from this, Turkmenistan will submit to the United Nations General Assembly a proposal to declare 2025 the "Year of Peace and Trust".

We consider the use of the joint capabilities of Turkmenistan and the SCO in preventing and neutralizing conflict situations at the regional level, primarily in Central Asia, as an important area of our cooperation. We highly appreciate the fact that a number of SCO Member States and observers have joined the Group of Friends of Neutrality for Peace, Security and Development, established at the United Nations at the initiative of our country. I think this provides good prerequisites for advancing the peacekeeping agenda.

Taking into account that December 2022 marks the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the UN Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia, the founders of which are four SCO Member States, we intend to submit to the General Assembly a draft of the resolution on the role of the Center, reflecting in this document significant events of recent years, including the proclamation of the Zone of Peace, Trust and Cooperation in Central Asia.

We count on the support of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation for these initiatives.

Dear participants,

Turkmenistan is open to a serious development of trade and economic partnership with the SCO. There are not only real opportunities for this but also an objective need. The presence in our countries of a powerful resource and production base, already accumulated competencies and experience of interaction in bilateral and multilateral formats provide today the most favorable conditions for establishing long-term sustainable ties in transport, logistics, communications, energy, creating trade and economic integration corridors along the North-South, East-West line.

Our country is ready to discuss in practical terms the issue of providing its territory and infrastructure in the interests of the SCO for building intercontinental and regional transit routes for the supply of goods and services. Not the last role in this is assigned to the Caspian route, taking into account the presence on the Turkmen coast of a large modern seaport in the city of Turkmenbashi.

We are convinced of the expediency of the SCO's active participation in the formation of a system of transport and transit corridors and logistics along the China - Central Asia -Caspian Sea - Black Sea connectivity route. At the same time, together with interested parties, we are ready for joint activities to improve the efficiency of the transport corridor providing cargo transportation from Russian ports in the Baltic to sea terminals in the Persian Gulf, the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean.

In the energy sector, Turkmenistan is also ready for systematic and long-term cooperation with the SCO. We propose to actively start planning joint projects to diversify energy supplies in order to meet both the needs of the SCO states and with the prospect of entering foreign markets. Our country has the necessary resource capacity to significantly increase the volume of such supplies. Over the years, we have gained solid international experience in cooperation in the energy sector. Turkmenistan, using the generally accepted practice of operating in the oil and gas sector, supplies its natural gas to Russia, China and neighboring countries. Today, we are actively working on the implementation of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project.

Here, I would like to emphasize the importance of participation in these and other multilateral projects of Afghanistan as one of the key factors in the reconstruction of its economy and social sphere, and ultimately, the achievement of sustaining peace. We also consider it a priority to provide comprehensive economic and humanitarian support to the fraternal Afghan people.

We are in favour of a closer and more effective partnership with the Shanghai Cooperation Organization through private business and the creation of conditions for regular communication between entrepreneurs.

Culture, science, education, humanitarian contacts – these areas are also on the agenda of cooperation with the SCO. Historical ties between our countries have deep, centuries-old roots, and Turkmenistan fully supports their continuation and development.

In conclusion, I would like to emphasize that close, friendly, fraternal ties with the states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have been and remain one of the priorities of Turkmenistan's foreign policy. We are aware of the great prospects for such a partnership and highly appreciate the level of mutual understanding, trust and openness, good-neighbourliness and respect that distinguishes our dialogue with the SCO. We are ready to develop and enrich it. We are determined to give cooperation with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation a long-term, strategic character.