The neutral status of independent Turkmenistan gives it all the rights and opportunities to enter non-military international organizations. Turkmenistan, over the past decade, has been actively using such opportunities to participate in tackling different global issues. For example, Turkmenistan is an observer member of the Commonwealth of Independent States, but this in no way prevents it from taking an active part in the activities of this organization.
The invitation to Turkmenistan from the Turkic Council to take part in its summit of the Heads of State, which is planned to be held in November this year, is a testimony to the growth of our country's influence in international affairs of the Central Asian and Middle East regions, strengthening of economic ties with neighboring countries.
Throughout the years of independence, Turkey has been one of the leading economic partners of Turkmenistan, and in recent years, economic ties have significantly strengthened with other members of the Turkic Council – Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan. For example, in the last year alone, the volume of foreign trade turnover between Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan has more than tripled.
It is necessary to highlight the matters of strengthening and developing transport and logistics ties between the members of the Turkic Council, where many issues are even difficult to discuss without the presence of Turkmenistan, which plays a central role in many logistics chains. These are gas pipelines to the West and East from Turkmenistan, filled primarily with Turkmen gas, railways and highways passing through the country. The route of the One Belt - One Road project, which is being successfully implemented, passes through all the countries of the Turkic Council and its successful implementation largely depends on the discussion and adoption of many joint decisions.
Turkmenistan also contributes to solutions in transport-logistics and import-export tasks within the framework of forums of the Caspian countries and the SCO. These issues are significant for all countries of the Central Asian region to resolve interregional ties. Each of these forums, as well as the Turkic Council, facilitates decision making on these issues. At all forums, Turkmenistan offers mutually beneficial conditions and in no way chooses paths that cause damage to other countries.
In addition to economic and transport-logistics ties, common cultural values play an important role in the Turkic Union. The cultural cooperation presently forms the basis of Turkic integration: the understanding that all the peoples of the Turkic Council and Turkmenistan have a common history, language and traditions, and their preservation and enhancement is possible only through joint efforts, makes the idea of common Turkic interaction so relevant today.
The Turkic Council does not have a military component and is not directed against anyone, but serves as another instrument for strengthening trust and economic cooperation between the participating countries. Therefore, the participation of Turkmenistan as an observer in the Turkic Council is quite relevant and promising.
This article was originally published in Gündogar News internet news portal on October 14, 2021.