Turkmenistan International Relations
US Senate: Turkmenistan May Limit Russia’s Energy Leverage
Participation of Turkmenistan and possibly Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in the Southern Corridor for gas to Europe would bolster their sovereign independence, according to a new report by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s GOP titled “Energy and Security from the Caspian to Europe”. Released in Washington on Wednesday, December 12, the 65-page report says: “The next phase of the Southern Corridor would advance several U.S. and NATO foreign policy objectives: it would further isolate Iran, assist in cultivating partners in the Caucasus and Central Asia and bolster their sovereign independence, and perhaps most importantly, curtail Russia’s energy leverage over European NATO allies.”
The report argues that the Southern Corridor and Eurasian energy security “will require constant attention” by the United States and the European Union. “The need to embolden former Soviet states in making strategic energy decisions is not unfamiliar. Similar problems initially hindered the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, but a coalition of support built by the EU, the United States, and a handful of energy majors helped push the project through. A similar coalition will have to be built around trans-Caspian gas transit. Russia should be invited to play a constructive role in these talks, and its response will be indicative of whether it is a good faith partner of Turkmenistan or has ulterior motives in preventing Turkmenistan’s energy development according to its sovereign interests,” the study says.
Source: US Senate, en.ca-news.org
Turkmenistan to Expand Diplomatic Presence in Russia
At a governmental meeting President Berdymukhamedov said that Turkmenistan and the Russian Federation are strategic partners, maintaining stable and constructive relations. According to the head of state, Turkmenistan has recently established trade, economic and cultural cooperation with the large regions of Russia, such as St. Petersburg, Tatarstan, Astrakhan. “We are going to expand our diplomatic presence in Russia and open a Consulate of Turkmenistan in Astrakhan next year,” the President said. Berdymukhamedov also signed a decree authorizing the establishment of a Trade Mission of Turkmenistan in Moscow, expressing the hope that it will create new opportunities for cooperation, making them systematic and focused.
Berdymukhamedov Says Russia More Important than China as Strategic Partner
President Berdymukhamedov said for the upcoming Neutrality Day that Russia was more important for his country than China. The president’s speech reflected the foreign policy concept of Turkmenistan for 2013-2017, RIA Novosti reports. Berdymukhamedov calls Central Asian states the main strategic partners of Turkmenistan. Among the major partners he named Russia, saying that relationship with Moscow are developing “steadily and effectively.” According to the President, in terms of importance of partnership Russia is followed by China. Other essential countries for Turkmenistan are Japan, Malaysia, Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan, India, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, US, EU, Arab states.
Source: casfactor.com, ria.ru
Littoral States to Discuss Caspian Status Convention
Ashgabat hosted a two day meeting of Caspian littoral states deputy foreign ministers to develop a draft Convention on Caspian Sea legal status. "The parties expressed a mutual interest in the early completion of the work on the final text of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, as well as a common desire to continue searching for mutually acceptable solutions on the conceptual provisions of this basic document designed to be a reliable legal tool of relationship of the five littoral states in various areas of vital activity in the Caspian Sea," Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary reported.
Ashgabat hosts UN Regional Forum for Preventive Diplomacy
Ashgabat is hosting the international forum 'Neutrality and preventive diplomacy: a foundation for peace and security' under the auspices of the UN Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia with the support of the Turkmen Foreign Ministry. The event is timed to coincide with the fifth anniversary of opening the centre in Ashgabat. UN Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman, OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier, ECO Secretary General Shamil Alasgarov, SCO Secretary General Muratbek Imanaliev, Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Gopin and other senior officials arrived in Ashgabat to attend the event.
Iranian Delegation Visited Ashgabat
On December 17, Iranian delegation headed by the Deputy Oil Minister, Jawad Owji, arrived in Ashgabat for talks with representatives of Turkmengas state concern. The parties discussed perspectives of cooperation, and stated that commissioning of Dovletabad – Sarakhs – Khangiran pipeline to transport Turkmen oil to Iran proves that the dynamic of the relationship between the two countries is positive.
Turkmenistan, Germany Discuss Cooperation in Legal Sector
Turkmenistan’s Institute for Democracy and Human Rights under the President of Turkmenistan held a working meeting on development of Turkmen – German cooperation in the area of law. The meeting was held in the framework of a joint project with German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ). Representatives of Turkmenistan’s Parliament, State Publishing Service, State Service Academy under the President of Turkmenistan, Turkmen State Makhtumkuli University, non-governmental organizations, and mass media took part in the event. Regional director of the GIZ joint project Yorg Pudelka also participated in the event.
Turkmenistan Among World’s Most Repressive Societies – Freedom House
According to the annual report “The World’s Most Repressive Societies,” published by Freedom House, Turkmenistan is the second most repressive country in the world following only Uzbekistan. In this year’s Worst of the Worst report, nine countries were identified by Freedom House as being the world’s worst human rights abusers in calendar year 2011: Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Two disputed territories, Tibet and Western Sahara, were also in this category. All of these countries and territories received Freedom in the World’s lowest ratings: 7 for political rights and 7 for civil liberties (based on a 1 to 7 scale, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free). Within these entities, political opposition is banned, criticism of the government is met with retribution, and independent organizations are suppressed.
Seven other countries fall just short of the bottom of Freedom House’s ratings: Belarus, Burma, Chad, China, Cuba, Laos, and Libya. The territory of South Ossetia also is part of this group
Turkmenistan to open embassies in Japan and Malaysia in 2013
Turkmenistan is studying the possibility of opening Turkmen embassies in Japan and Malaysia. "Turkmenistan has strategic interests in economic and trade, transport and communication, fuel and energy fields in the Asia-Pacific region and we will expand our presence there," Berdymukhamedov said at a government meeting.
Ministry: Caspian Sea’s Northern Part Divided Between Coastal States
The northern part of the Caspian Sea has been actually divided between the coastal countries. There are no problems with the sea bottom, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told Trend news agency. "So far we have worked in this direction," he said. "Very important agreements and mutual understanding have been reached in this issue." Khalafov said that Azerbaijan continues negotiating with Turkmenistan and Iran.
Four Azerbaijani citizens arrested in Turkmenistan, pardoned
Four Azerbaijani citizens, arrested in Turkmenistan, have been pardoned. Agajanov Nizami, Aliyev Kanan, Nagiyev Kamran and Nagiyev Israfil were arrested by Turkmen border guards on board of the ship "Uran" during illegal fishing in the Turkmen waters of the Caspian Sea on Oct. 21st.
Ashgabat Hosted International Conference on Great Silk Road
Ashgabat hosted the International Conference “Revival of the Great Silk Road in the Era of Power and Happiness: Deep roots and Current Opportunities,” organized by the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan. The forum brought together scientists from more than 20 countries, including the U.S., China, Italy, Germany, Japan, France, Turkey, Iran, Korea, Spain, Morocco, the CIS and other countries.
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