Turkmenistan-India Joint Statement during State visit of President of Republic of India to Turkmenistan

At the invitation of His Excellency Mr. Serdar Gurbangulyyevich Berdimuhamedov, President of Turkmenistan, the President of the Republic of India, His Excellency Shri Ram Nath Kovind paid a State visit to Turkmenistan on April 1-4, 2022. This visit is significant as it is the first ever visit by an Indian President to Turkmenistan.

2. During the visit, President of Turkmenistan and President of the Republic of India held extensive discussions on bilateral relations as well as regional and international matters of mutual interest. The Heads of State expressed satisfaction at the continued development of bilateral relations based on centuries-old close civilizational and cultural linkages, friendship, trust and mutual understanding. They underlined the importance of regular contacts at the highest levels for further strengthening of bilateral relations and identifying priorities for mutually beneficial cooperation.

3. The two Leaders emphasized that one of the main tasks facing the world at present is to consolidate efforts in a timely, effective and transparent manner to prevent outbreaks of pandemics. They agreed that the two countries should continue to work in the field of preventing emergency situations of a sanitary and epidemiological nature for responding to outbreaks of infectious diseases. The Sides noted with satisfaction that Turkmenistan and India provided mutual support and demonstrated solidarity in the difficult circumstances caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

4. The Presidents stressed the importance of expanding mutually beneficial trade and economic cooperation between Turkmenistan and India and increasing the volume of bilateral trade. They noted the role of the Turkmenistan-India Intergovernmental Joint Commission on Trade, Economic, Scientific and Technical Cooperation as a coordinating body for enhancing cooperation in this regard.

5. The Sides expressed interest in increasing cooperation in various sectors and identified energy, petrochemicals, transport, communications, information and technology, textile, leather and footwear, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, renewable energy, construction, agriculture & agro-processing, gems and jewellery etc. as potential areas for greater cooperation between the two countries.

6. The Leaders stressed on the importance of creating favourable conditions, facilitate greater understanding of business regulations and promote participation of private companies of both countries in various investment projects of mutual interest. They encouraged the companies in both countries for greater participation in national exhibitions, business forums and other events for facilitating business interactions and linkages.

7. The Presidents noted the importance of cooperation in the energy sector. In this context, the Turkmen side highlighted the benefits of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project for the economic development of the region and agreed to examine India’s proposals of ensuring integrity, safety and security of the project by integrating “the Business Principles” in various Agreements pertaining to TAPI gas pipeline project.

8. The Sides welcomed the advances made in mutual supplies of products, building up industrial potential, use of digital technologies, and investing in priority projects for the economic development of the two countries.

9. The Presidents underlined that cooperation in the field of transport and connectivity is essential to the development of economic partnership between Turkmenistan and India. They emphasized on the importance of International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC), Ashgabat Agreement on the Establishment of an International Transport and Transit Corridor and other regional transport corridors in this context. They acknowledged the significance of Turkmenistan as a link to other Central Asian countries and the Caspian region.

10. President of Turkmenistan conveyed his readiness to join the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and in that context, proposed that the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran railway line could be a linked corridor of the INSTC to streamline movement of goods between Turkmenistan and India and beyond. President of India mentioned about India’s proposal to include Chabahar port developed by India in the INSTC framework. The Turkmen side highlighted the potential of the Turkmenbashi International Seaport for carrying out the transportation between the two countries. The Indian side looked forward to early nomination from Turkmen side for the Joint Working Group on Chabahar, announced during the India-Central Asia Summit in January 2022. The President of Turkmenistan highlighted his initiative to create, under the auspices of the UN, a Special Program for the Development of Interregional Transport Communication.

11. The Leaders, recalling the age-old cultural and civilizational links between Turkmenistan and India, laid special emphasis on promoting cultural cooperation for better appreciation of each other’s culture. The Sides agreed to give greater attention to all facets of cultural cooperation – hosting regular Film Festivals, cooperation between museums, translation of literary work, digitization of manuscripts, restoration work related to cultural heritage archaeological survey, etc.

12. The Leaders also welcomed the signing of the Programme of Cooperation in the field of Culture and Arts between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of India for 2022-2025, which would provide the framework for cooperation in this important area.

13. The Presidents stressed that cultural exchanges make an important and positive contribution to comprehensive cooperation between the two countries and to deepening bonds of friendship and mutual understanding between their peoples. In this regard, the Turkmen side agreed to send 20 of its youth icons as part of the 100 member youth delegation from Central Asia to India under the framework of India-Central Asia Summit.

14. The Leaders called for deepening of cooperation in the education sector between the two countries and to develop direct contacts between leading higher educational institutions of Turkmenistan and India. The Turkmen side thanked Indian side for educational scholarships and capacity building training provided by India to the citizens of Turkmenistan.

15. The Leaders stressed the importance of joint efforts to counter modern challenges and threats, including international terrorism, cross border terrorism, extremism, radicalisation, illegal migration, trafficking in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, and transnational organised crime. In this regard, they underscored the need to hold regular meetings between their Security Councils including in the framework of India-Central Asia Summit mechanism.

16. The Sides reaffirmed that one of the main threats to international security in the contemporary world is the use of information and communication technologies for criminal purposes. In this regard, the Sides stressed the need to create a reliable legal framework for bilateral relations in this area, to strengthen cooperation between relevant agencies of two countries and to engage within international organisations.

17. The Sides reiterated their commitment to strengthen regional as well as multilateral cooperation, including through enhanced interaction in the United Nations and other regional and international organisations to which they are members. They underscored the importance of strengthening United Nations and its institutions in addressing global issues and ensuring sustainable development.

18. The President of Turkmenistan emphasised that the policy of permanent neutrality pursued by Turkmenistan contributes to enhancing peace and security in the region and plays an important role in the development of peaceful, friendly and mutually beneficial relations between his country and the world. The Presidents noted the adoption of the resolution of the UN General Assembly “The Role and Importance of a Policy of Neutrality in Maintaining and Strengthening International Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”, initiated by Turkmenistan on December 7, 2020.

19. The Leaders noted that the theme of trust and culture of dialogue, launched in the year of 2021, which was declared by the UN General Assembly as the International Year of Peace and Trust, should continue to be a focus of global attention, including in the UN. In this context, the President of the Republic of India noted the importance of developing a draft UN General Assembly resolution “Strengthening Regional and International Cooperation to Ensure Peace, Stability and Sustainable Development in the Central Asian Region”, initiated by Turkmenistan.

20. The Indian side highlighted the role of “International Solar Alliance (ISA)’ initiative in collective, rapid and massive deployment of solar energy for effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. It also underlined the role of “Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)” in promoting disaster resilient infrastructure for reducing economic losses and improving the well-being of communities in the face of calamities. President of Turkmenistan expressed interest of his country in studying the possibility of joining the ISA and CDRI.

21. Turkmenistan welcomed the role played by India in its ongoing UNSC tenure and appreciated India’s UNSC initiatives which focused on reformed multilateralism and counter-terrorism, anchored in the Indian ethos of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam”, i.e. “the world as one family”. Both Sides highlighted that India’s election to the UNSC has provided additional opportunities to coordinate efforts on most pressing issues at the UN based on mutual understanding and a shared view and approach to the global world order.

22. Both Sides called for comprehensive global realities and to make it more representative, effective and efficient in dealing with issues of international peace and security. President of Turkmenistan congratulated India on its successful Presidency of the UN Security Council in the month of August 2021 and reiterated Turkmenistan’s support for India’s permanent membership of a reformed and expanded UN Security Council.

23. The Presidents noted the importance of the outcomes of the International Conference “Peace and Trust Policy - Basis of International Security, Stability and Development”, held on December 11, 2021 in Ashgabat. President of Turkmenistan mentioned about the initiative of Turkmenistan “Dialogue - Guarantee of Peace” and other proposals expressed during this Forum.

24. During the visit the following MoUs and Agreements were signed in the presence of the two Presidents:

i) Memorandum of Understanding between Financial Monitoring Service at the Ministry of Finance and Economy of Turkmenistan and Financial Intelligence Unit of India;

ii) Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of India on Cooperation in the field of Disaster Management;

iii) Programme of Cooperation between the Government of Turkmenistan and the Government of the Republic of India in the fields of Culture and Arts for the period 2022-2025;

iv) Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Sports and Youth Policy of Turkmenistan and Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of Government of Republic of India on Cooperation in Youth Matters.

25. Turkmenistan-India Commemorative postal stamp, celebrating the 30th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries was released during the visit.

26. The Presidents agreed that the visit of the President of the Republic of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind has helped consolidate and deepen the longstanding cordial relations between Turkmenistan and India and in defining a framework for an enhanced mutually beneficial partnership between the countries.

27. President of the Republic of India Shri Ram Nath Kovind expressed gratitude to President of Turkmenistan

Mr. Serdar Gurbangulyyevich Berdimuhamedov and the entire Turkmen people for the warm welcome he received. He invited the President of Turkmenistan to pay a State visit to

the Republic of India at a convenient time. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The dates of the visit will be agreed through diplomatic channels.

Source: Turkmenistan State News Agency-TDH