On December 11, 2017 H.E. Dr. Nasir Ahmad Andisha Deputy Foreign Minister for Management and Resources of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of I.R. Afghanistan attended conference on “Policy of Neutrality and Preventive Diplomacy in International Relations: Experience of Turkmenistan and its Importance” and an exhibition dedicated to the celebration of the International Day of Neutrality organized by the Institute of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan.
Deputy Foreign Minister on behalf of H.E Salahuddin Rabbani Minister of Foreign affairs of I.R. Afghanistan thanked the government of Turkmenistan for hosting the Seventh Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan and outlined the outstanding success of the the conference and its sustainable impacts for generations to come.
He mentioned that in 1995 Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani the late President of Afghanistan was the first president to respond positively to the neutrality call of the government and people of Turkmenistan which subsequently obtained strong support of the international community, in particular the UNGA, deeming it as a logic and effective trajectory not only for Turkmen nation but the region as a whole.
Since then, the time has proved the veracity of the path the Turkmen nation adopted for their lives in a right time, which helped them to make great progress and gain outstanding achievements in political, economic and social spheres, and to find its befitting place among the world nations as a respected and peace-loving nation.
He added: Experiences of four decades imposed conflicts and war in Afghanistan thought us a lesson that there is no military solution in any conflict, rather than seek a peaceful settlement through honest and reliable mediator.
In this regard, the Turkmen government, as a neutral state, has played major role in mediating between the Afghan government and its oppositions, aiming at promoting and safeguarding regional peace and stability, and rendering friendly and cordial relations not only with Afghanistan but among nations, based on shared goals and interests.
A neutral country, while playing host for any peace and conflict resolution, in the same time can contribute to deterring any conceivable conflict through undertaking policy of preventive diplomacy.
Taking into account the fact, Turkmenistan has successfully made good use of its positive neutrality policy in a bid to bring peace and security in Afghanistan through undertaking, inter alia, economic infrastructure projects. Although Afghanistan will continue, steadfastly, in collaboration with regional and international partners to fight terrorism in all its forms and manifestation, we strongly believe in the principle that there is no military solution to any conflict whatsoever. Given its neutrality status, Turkmenistan enjoys an appropriate position to play host for any conflict resolution.
In an effort to bring peace and stability to Afghanistan, Turkmenistan hosted a mediation talks between the Afghan government and oppositions in Ashgabat, where late Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani, the then chair of the High Peace Council attended the meeting, leading a large delegation, as the outcome of the meeting was a great success.
The Turkmenistan initiatives to mediate peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan had started as early as the time of resistance that is 1996-2001.
At the 65th UNGA, H. E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the President of Turkmenistan introduced an initiative aimed at ending war and establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan through undertaking regional economic and infrastructure development, which was welcomed by the UNGA.
Based on this initiative, Turkmenistan helped to accelerate the process of regional projects such as TAPI gas pipeline, TAP–500KV, Lapis Lazuli trade and transit corridor, and Regional Railways Initiatives, a series of regional mega projects that can help connect and bring together virtually South Asia with Central Asia through Afghanistan and onward to the Middle East and Europe.
Due to Neutral status and peaceful atmosphere of Turkmenistan, UN, as a most credible world body, has preferred to host most of its regional and international meetings on conflict related issues in Ashgabat, for this purpose, UN has established the United Nations Regional Center for Preventive Diplomacy for Central Asia (UNRCCA), in Ashgabat.
Despite our progress, both in fighting terrorism and in reconciliation process, we are still facing daunting challenges in both fronts. We firmly believe that no single country can tackle this menace by its own without a coherent and calibrated strategy, and the significant role of dialogue and cooperation for effective and durable solution of conflicts of any sort, whether regional or global.
Deputy Minister once again thanked the government of Turkmenistan for its great initiatives, under the wise leadership of H. E. Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, aimed at establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan and inviting us to attend the Neutrality Day Celebration, a status that contributed largely in regional peace and development, and we hope that with the diligent and honest efforts of the Turkmen government, Afghanistan would reach the aspired goal.