Distinquished representatives of the diplomatic service
of the sovereign Tajikistan,
Distinquished veterans of the diplomatic area,
It is quite symbolic that on the eve of the great traditional feast of our people, the radiant Navruz, we are taking part in one of the first major events of the year - the commissioning ceremony of the new building of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan.
I would like to sincerely congratulate you with the coming Navruz, as well as with assuming a good and high quality building, and I wish you great success in the field of political ideas, initiatives and endevours for the benefit of our country.
In my view, it is no secret that during the whole period of independence there was a critical need for a similar-furnished building that meets the requirements of the Foreign Ministry and after its commissioning the dream of more than one generation of Tajik diplomats has come true.
It goes without saying that such a memorable event, providing excellent conditions for work, requires greater efficiency, the new doubled and tripled endeavours and efforts in order to improve the activity, the results of which completely would meet the requirements of the time.
Since that day – 12 October 2010 - when the first stone of the new building was laid, only two years and a half have passed, and today we are in this modern, magnificent building that will serve the Tajik diplomats, - worthy heirs of the great Bal’ami and al-Utbi, Jayhooni and Nizam-al-Mulk.
It should be noted that the building has incorporated the European and Oriental architectural traditions, and also well represented in the achievement of national architecture.
The building consists of 138 offices, 12 Conference Rooms, including rooms for negotiations, press conferences and consultative meetings, as well as halls for the reception, library and dining room, on the whole there has been created favorable and modern conditions for the activity of 300 workers.
Taking this opportunity I would like to express my gratitude to the leadership of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, architects, engineers and construcrors – to all who made contribution to the construction of this monumental building.
The reasons for a state to pay constant and day-to-day attention to the issues of diplomatic life are quite obvious.
In the process of formation and development of Tajikistan as a sovereign and independent state, its foreign policy plays a significant role.
Specific historical conditions for the nascency and development of our sovereign country, the character and content of international development at the turn of two centuries is naturally identified as particularly important external factor in the life of our nation, as well as the indissoluble connection of internal development with international realities.
At the beginning of the 21st century, the world is experiencing profound changes, arising from reorganization of the world polycentric system. In the geopolitical dimension of the planet the new political and economic realities which lead to the transformation of the system of international relations in the next ten to fifteen years have emerged.
The processes arisen in the world, at the present stage covered political, economic, social and spiritual spheres.
The most important one is the process of globalization, which has a direct impact on the nature and content of international relations, as well as on the choice of foreign vectors of the states.
The Republic of Tajikistan is located in the most important area of Eurasia, which connects Central Asia with the Indo-Chinese region and is actively involved, especially in the recent two decades in the global processes of the regional and international level.
It should be stressed that the entrance of Tajikistan into the international arena and its active participation there has not been achieved easily. Suffice it to recall that after gaining independence, we have not had a competent agency or public entities in charge of implementation of the foreign policy. Inherited from the Soviet period, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had only eleven officers.
Therefore, it is safe to say that our foreign policy and its implementing public authority - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs - is the true brainchild of the state independence which is gained through much suffering!
It is namely thanks to our independence that we have become a full member of the important international organizations, starting from the United Nations. The Republic of Tajikistan has been recognized by 147 countries of the world and up to date we have established diplomatic relations with 128 countries.
In other words, we have become a fully-fledged subject of the world community, and the world has recognized Tajikistan as an Independent state.
Currently, we are in an environment where globalization as the dominant factor of the world’s evolution, can create on the one hand, the enormous opportunities for economic and technological development and the promotion of the progressive countries in general, but on the other hand, it can strengthen the contradictions in the political, economic, cultural and moral spheres, make even more striking social inequalities among people and aggravate the spiritual crisis of the global community.
Under these conditions, the foreign policy of Tajikistan should have pragmatic and realistic content and promote consistent achievement of national and state goals of the country.
A realistic approach strengthens the foundations of independence, and this process should be based on new facets of international relations, building on the reality of the globalization period.
The 21st century challenges have more encouraged us to ensure the foreign policy of Tajikistan, without losing the classical paradigm, to have inseparable links with the economic needs of the country, and carry out effective measures to address them.
One of the most important current problems is to maintain the balance between globalization process and national interests of each country. We believe that respect for the sovereignty and independence of each country should be in fact recognized as the cornerstone of generally accepted norms of international life.
Globalization and the national interests of countries of the world should complement each other and guarantee stable development of international relations.
The Republic of Tajikistan, through a step-by-step implementation of the «Open doors» policy, considers it possible to create effective means of harmonization of the national interests with international efforts, consolidating the efforts to adequately confront the challenges and threats of the modern world.
Such approach in the framework of a common international life processes will allow creation of equal conditions, all-embracing security system and a decent position for each of the countries and nations, regardless of their role, place and influence in the geopolitical balance of power.
At the same time, a permanent nature of the process of political and economic integration has become a characteristic feature of international relations.
The Republic of Tajikistan reaffirms it’s committment to regional cooperation within the framework of existing international organizations that facilitate the solution of strictly national objectives in terms of conflict of interests.
The active participation of our country in the activities of international and regional organizations through making a feasible contribution to the strengthening of international security and stability, stems from the need to protect its interests as a priority, as well as to attract technological, economic, political and intellectual opportunities for achieving Tajikistan’s long-term Foreign policy goals, namely creating favorable conditions for the successful implementation of reforms in the country and further development of the sovereign Tajikistan.
We are committed to the establishment of a new world order and will also continue to build on the international political structure and security organization of the global and regional scales - the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Collective Security Treaty Organization and Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
The political leadership of Tajikistan believes that after relegating the bipolar world system to obscurity, the balance of forces should not be administered through establishing new military and political groups, but by means of agreements and arrangements in order to ensure peace and stability, as well as using effective methods of the preventive diplomacy.
Unfortunately, with the end of the «Cold war» period conflict-prone areas has been much expanded, the arms race and international terrorism, political extremism, fundamentalism, separatism, drug trafficking, transnational organized crime, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and its constituent components, which on the whole pose a threat to national, regional and global security, are widely spread.
We believe that the new world system should be free of war, conflict, violence and pressure and should be based on a comprehensive, equal and mutually beneficial cooperation between all countries of the world.
In such circumstances, we can address the global challenges of our time - international terrorism, political extremism, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, anthropogenic and environmental disasters, as well as the effects of global warming, only by joint efforts.
Tajikistan, because of its geographical position, being in the center of the intersection of geopolitical interests of World’s powerful forces, in the present conditions and in the foreseeable future is going to carry out a deliberate policy to continue pursuing the strategy of multilateral cooperation.
The main purpose of the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the long-term outlook, as it has been noted, in order to protect the best interests of the country, should consist of the efforts to create a favorable external environment for the sustainable multidimentional development of the country, the further growth of Tajikistan as a sovereign independent state, to reach agreement and find points of mutual interest with foreign countries and international organizations in the process of solving problems, defined priorities of the foreign policy of our country.
The geopolitical situation in Tajikistan, its natural and economic and demographic resources as well as the socio-economic development level require conducting active, realistic and balanced policy. At the same time, it should be noted that the success of foreign policy depends on the balance of the goals and capabilities of their implementation.
Our country, like most countries in the world, while determining the priorities of foreign policy proceeds from, and in future will proceed from the highest national goals and interests. It is clear that these priorities may not be permanent and unchangable, because they have to meet the level and content of relations of Tajikistan with one or another state or group of states.
At the same time, we, as a State carrying out the «Open doors» policy, perceive no country as a priori unfriendly and, as I have repeatedly pointed out, we will develop friendly relations and mutually beneficial unselfish cooperation with all countries of the World.
The most important task of our foreign policy is creating a zone of confidence and security throughout the country’s borders by developing and strengthening good-neighbourly relations with all neighbouring countries.
For these purposes, the Republic of Tajikistan in intergovernmental relations with neighbouring countries is guided by the policy of friendship, good neighbourliness, non-interference in the internal affairs of each other and in the settlement of disputes, including border and water-energy issues, gives absolute priority to peaceful means of their settlement, and these are negotiations and dialogue.
We will continue to advance the peace initiatives to resolve conflicts, and to take part constructively in their peaceful resolution.
Neighboring countries and countries of the region stand in a priority position in the system of Tajikistan’s interstate relations. We support the further enhancement of the positive, centuries-old, creative experience of friendly coexistence of the peoples of Central Asia.
Determining factors of our relations with the Republic of Uzbekistan are considered recognition of the importance and necessity of equal, mutually beneficial, unselfish and stable relationships. Towards this neighbouring country, we will pursue a policy that is based on mutual respect, constructive cooperation and goodwill.
Common goals and tasks, and the regional countries share them, call for the development and enhancement of relations based on trust, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Leadership of the Republic of Tajikistan considers active regional cooperation as an essential tool for addressing the economic, social, and environmental issues as well as ensuring security in the Central Asia, and this approach for the past twenty years has been demonstrated repeatedly in our political practice.
In the context of constructive cooperation and mutual trust, we will be able to withstand the current global challenges and threats in the region.
We are confident that the creative regional integration will be for the benefit of the countries and peoples of Central Asia and each Central Asian country separately.
If we turn our eyes to the south, then once again we see that preservation of lasting peace in neighboring Afghanistan and security and political stability in this country meets the national interests of Tajikistan.
We support the efforts of the international community and the government of this friendly country towards a comprehensive solution of the problem of Afghanistan and consider that the right to determine the future of Afghanistan belongs exclusively to the people of this country.
The Republic of Tajikistan has always been and remains interested in the preservation of the territorial integrity of a friendly neighboring country and the consolidation of all its political forces. In the framework of joint activities of the international community in Afghanistan, our country will continue to make a practical contribution, particularly in its economic rehabilitation.
In the field of development of multidimensional, mutually beneficial cooperation, the brotherly Afghanistan, which shares a common language with us, will always have a priority among countries of the region.
In our relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, like Afghanistan, an important place occupies historical commonality of language, literature and culture of our people. Tajikistan in the future will also keep intensively expanded mutually beneficial multidimensional cooperation in bilateral and multilateral formats with this country.
It is satisfactory to state that during the last six - seven years, a fundamental area of our relations with Iran, and it is trade and economic cooperation, has gained practical character and achieved notable heights.
Construction of new railways, roads, gas and oil pipelines, power transmission lines are the core of creative plans, aimed at providing a peaceful and comfortable life for people of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Iran and other countries of the region.
The agenda of our bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral summit meetings with Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan which took place more than once, consist namely of these issues.
In the future we will further make efforts to develop and strengthen bilateral and multilateral relations with these friendly countries, too.
Taking into account the concept of split-level and split-speed integration into the CIS, we have identified the specifics and beneficial aspects of cooperation with the CIS Member States, and they are our traditional partners, and we will promote the development and improvement of the integration processes in the CIS area in order to use their creative potential and develop mutually beneficial cooperation.
Since we have established good relations with all the countries of the Commonwealth, we should use this positive and creative potential in the best ways.
Taking into account Russia’s leading role in the world and the region, developing and strengthening the traditional relations of friendship and cooperation with this power are of particular importance.
Tajikistan since the 19th century has been being in a single geopolitical, political, trade and economic zone with Russia. Today the intensification of ties with Russia on the basis of equality, mutual benefit and strategic partnership in the political, military, economic, trade, entrepreneurship, labor migration, culture, science, education and others spheres, as an important factor in regional security, meet the national interests of the Republic of Tajikistan today, too.
Our country has not forgotten the important and positive role of Russia in overcoming the internal conflict in Tajikistan and establishing peace and stability in our land.
We will continue to strengthen our ties in all fields of cooperation. And in particular in the sphere of economy.
Although Russia ranks first from the point of view of level of trade with Tajikistan, there are still lots of opportunities for the development of trade and economic relations, and we will strive to maximize using them.
We have such wonderful examples of economic relations and mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, in particular energy, as Hydro Power Station «Sangtuda-1», which is a unique example in the post-Soviet zone, and we will strive for their increase.
Further development of good-neighbourly, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with our great neighbour, the People’s Republic of China is one of the most important tasks of the foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the Asian sector.
There are good examples of creative and effective cooperation in our relations with China, and on this basis we have a wide range options for the development of trade, economic and investment cooperation.
All this because of the unity of the words and deeds of the Chinese government regarding the development of multidimensional cooperation with neighboring Tajikistan, as well as the concurrence of views or proximity of positions of the two countries on the issues of regional and global politics.
Therefore, the activization of relations in all spheres not only in the interest of Tajikistan and China, but also fot the maintenance of peace and stability in the region, and we will purposefully promote this process in future as a strategic direction of our cooperation.
Taking into account the enormous influence and crucial role of the United States of America in world politics and economics, Tajikistan will continue to strive for development of multi-faceted relationships with this global power and maintain their partnership character.
Assistance, provided by this biggest donor country, directly or through international financial institutions for the development of various areas of our national economy, is especially significant, and we are intended to continue with appreciation the positive process of our cooperation.
For more than ten years, on the ground of the Afghan problem solution and creating favourable conditions for regional and inter-regional cooperation, political contacts and consultations between the Republic of Tajikistan and the United States of America have been considerably strengthened.
At the same time, the security of Central Asia can not be imagined without security in Afghanistan. Our multifaceted ties with the United States in this area will continue to be an important factor, too.
The announced withdrawal of the International Securuty Assistance Forces from Afghanistan in 2014 greatly increases our responsibility as a buffer state with 1,400 km length of border, standing face to face with the challenges and threats.
Since the beginning of this century, in the relations between Tajikistan and the European Union radical improvements have come over and this trend has been strengthening year by year.
The issues of promoting economic reform in our country and step-by-step involving of our national economy into the global system of economic relations are increasingly confronts us with the need to develop economic, political and cultural relations with the industrialized countries of the world.
Using the experience of these countries in the fields of economy, modern science and technology will facilitate the creation of an economically self-sufficient and truly democratic society.
Tajikistan considers the European Union that facilitates the attraction of foreign investment in the priority areas of the national economy, including energy and agriculture, social development, environmental protection and state borders protection, one of the most important economic partners, and will continue to strive for the development of a long-term, stable cooperation with this influential intergovernmental association on the basis of mutual benefit.
This collaboration, of course, will cover various European institutions, in particular the European Parliament, the Council of Europe, the European Investment Bank and others. In this context, we support the new EU strategy for Central Asia, and hope that it will facilitate the active development of regional cooperation in Central Asia.
In this regard, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic should develop and present an Action Plan on the development of relations, investment attraction and other issues related to the European Union.
The development of comprehensive productive relations with the countries of Indo-Chinese region during the whole period of independence has always been at the foreground of the foreign policy of our country.
Taking into account the role of India as an influential state in the region and the world, as well as centuries-old historical and cultural ties between the Tajik people and the people of India, and its wider economic and technological capabilities, we have been developing and maintaining multi-faceted cooperation with this country since the mid 90s of the last century.
India’s commitment to a democratic and secular values, its uncompromising position against terrorism and political extremism has acquired special significance against the geopolitical changes of recent times.
This convergence of positions and goals creates conditions for expansion of the field of mutually beneficial cooperation and to discover new areas for the benefit of both countries and the region on the whole.
With launching the counterterrorist operation in Afghanistan it has already been over ten years that in the political sphere of relations between Tajikistan and Pakistan favorable conditions for, in fact, mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries had been created.
Trade and economic opportunities of Pakistan, its geo-strategic position and influence in South Asia and in the Islamic world are of great importance for Tajikistan. Therefore, we will continue to focus our efforts on strengthening relations with Pakistan and in our joint struggle against modern threats, especially terrorism, extremism and drug trafficking, we will purposefully boost our cooperation.
This cooperation is of particular importance in the framework of trilateral relations with Afghanistan, because it is aimed not only at addressing the problems of Afghanistan, but also demonstrates the new creative sample of relationships in the region. In the framework of this cooperation the early implementation of projects such as “CASA-1000”power transmission line project will, in fact, further strengthen the foundation of our relations.
For the purpose of consolidating its place in the rapidly emerging investment, technology, raw materials and industrial products market, the Government considers the development and strengthening of mutually beneficial cooperation with Arab countries and the countries of Southeast Asia, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Republic of Korea and Japan to be one of the priority vectors of its foreign policy. Therefore, intensification of our foreign political and economic activities in this geo-economic field is a very urgent task.
Tajikistan, since the end of the last century, attaches great importance to the development of its cooperation with Japan. The state of bilateral relations in the new century creates favourable conditions for achieving this goal. Because Japan, as a reliable partner and donor country, makes a worthy contribution to the realization of our numerous infrastructure projects. Therefore, we will continue to develop our relationship with this friendly country, both directly and through international financial institutions.
Taking into account the role and place of investor countries of South, Southeast Asia and the Arabian Peninsula in the implementation of projects in various sectors of the national economy, we will continue our efforts to develop and expand mutually beneficial cooperation with the countries of these regions of the world.
The Republic of Tajikistan is interested in developing trade and economic, scientific and cultural relations with the Republic of Turkey. Development of mutually beneficial cooperation between Tajikistan and Turkey since the first days of our independence has a positive experience and noticeably contributes to the regional security and strengthens the country’s position in the system of regional integration. Our relations have good prospects, the extensive use of which is beneficial for both countries.
In the foreign policy of our country since the first years of independence, alongside with the bilateral relations, multilateral relations in the framework of regional and international organizations are also of special importance. In this regard, our cooperation with the UN, SCO, OSCE, CSTO, OIC, ECO and international financial institutions, as in previous years, should have a priority.
Cooperation of Tajikistan with international and regional organizations aimed at creating favorable conditions for the further strengthening of state independence, territorial integrity, strengthening the position of our country in the international arena and its active participation in global processes.
The Republic of Tajikistan is a supporter of the longevity of the United Nations and strengthening its consolidating role in the 21st century. Because it is the unique organization for joint seeking the balance of interests and the only global body with the right to make legitimate decisions with regard to collective operations for the protection of peace and international order by increasing the efficiency and accountability of its Security Council. Therefore, we support the constructive reform of this important UN body and wish to enhance its role in solving the fundamental problems of humanity.
Ensuring and protection of the interests of the Republic of Tajikistan in the United Nations, in its principal and specialized agencies is one of the key objectives of the foreign policy of our country.
Twenty years ago, when the sovereign Tajikistan took its first steps on the international stage, it faced an internal conflict that threatened the very existence of the state. In this extremely difficult period collaboration of our newly formed state began with the United Nations for the sake of overcoming the tragedy that is still a unique example of a successful peacekeeping operation, and laid the foundation of our interaction with this global organization.
Today Tajikistan is an active member of the UN, and we highly appreciate our cooperation with this important international organization. In a short historical period the UN approved three our initiatives, namely announement of the year 2003 as an International Year of the Fresh Water; years 2005-2015 as a Decade for Action «Water for Life»; and the year 2013 as an International Year of Water Cooperation, and it has proved and strengthened the reputation of Tajikistan as a recognized leader country in this process. In cooperation and with the assistance of the UN and its various organizations a numerous projects are currently being implemented in our country, and in the future we will also strengthen and develop our relationship with them.
Active participation of Tajikistan in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is stipulated due to the need of strengthening good-neighbourly relations, trust and friendly relations between the Member States and observers, as well as security and stability and sustainable economic development in the region.
We are of the view that the capabilities of the organization in terms of development of mutually beneficial economic cooperation are still not properly used.
The priority vectors of the SCO, in our view, are the development of economic relations, implementation of infrastructure projects, implementation of environmental cooperation and expanding cultural dialogue.
Tajikistan is a supporter of the idea that in the framework of this organization alongside with full SCO members, observer states and dialogue partners also should be actively involved in the fight against terrorism, political extremism and separatism. At the same time precise and strict implementation of obligations by Member States under the Charter of the Organization is the urgent requirement of the day.
In the complicated conditions of the previous years, our cooperation in the field of security was of vital importance, and in this direction our activities in the framework of Collective Security Treaty Organization aimed at fighting against global threats and ensuring security of population of the countries are very important. Therefore, we will strengthen our membership in the organization through active participation in all its activities and will work to ensure a truly collective security of our countries.
The Republic of Tajikistan is interested in the development of effective cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and its structures. Our country will use rich experience of the organization in the democratization of society and creation of democratic institutions, protection of fundamental rights and freedoms of people and building a truly constitutional state based on social-oriented market economy, decision of pressing, economic and environmental problems.
Since February 2002 Tajikistan is a participant of the NATO «Partnership for Peace» programme and considers it important to further continue maintaining active relationships in its framework for the benefit of preserving security and stability.
Highly appreciating the role of Islamic civilization in the spiritual advance of humanity and the protection of peace and stability in the world, we are principled opponents of the use of greatest authority of the sacred religion of Islam for selfish political goals.
Tajikistan is the first post-Soviet country that became a member of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, which is now called the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and in the framework of this authoritative organization we support the development of friendly relations and effective cooperation with the countries of the Islamic world on a bilateral basis, in the framework of this Organization and its institutions, as well as in the format of the Economic Cooperation Organization.
In our view, these organizations should activate their role in solving the urgent problems of the region. Tajikistan is ready to contribute to this process.
During the implementation of the National Development Strategy and the Millennium Development Goals, it is reasonable to raise the extent of the efficiency of our cooperation, as a participating country, with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Islamic Development Bank, the Eurasian Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and other funds and financial institutions.
After eleven years of consistent efforts our country was admitted to the World Trade Organization. This step should become an important mechanism of implementation of our national interests in the global, trade and economic arena. Taking into account this important event, the relevant ministries and agencies of the country should take effective measures to address objectives and goals that we had stated before joiningto this influential organization.
The Republic of Tajikistan will continue to take measures to provide cultural and educational assistance to our compatriots abroad. The Constitution guarantees the protection of the rights and interests of compatriots abroad, and they should be regulated on the basis of norms of international law and bilateral agreements.
The early 21st century was a period of transition to a new and very important stage of development for the foreign policy of Tajikistan, which was due to positive, fundamental transformations in Tajikistan and submerged processes in global politics and economics.
Tajikistan has entered the 21st century with a clear understanding of its own national interests and the role in the international arena as well as the next long-term foreign policy goals and objectives. Today, our views on the situation in the world and the region, as well as foreign policy priorities have become much more realistic and deeper.
At present, in our country the majorities are of the opinion that originates from the classic paradigm of foreign policy, consisting of the fact that foreign policy should create the most favourable conditions for addressing issues of internal development.
During the years of independence Tajikistan’s foreign policy took shape conceptually.
The absolute majority of the population of the country support peaceful, pragmatic, transparent, clear, predictable, balanced foreign policy of their country. This policy is perceived by the world community as a creative and transparent one.
Fundamental changes in the political and social life of Tajikistan at the turn of 20-21 centuries and the emergence of a new geopolitical picture of the world and the region have put forward the need for concretization of the goals, objectives and directions of the foreign policy of Tajikistan and this, in its turn, has led to the working out of the first conceptual document on the foreign policy of our country.
As you might be aware, in September 2002 the Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Tajikistan was approved, and it is still operational. Most of those, who are present here today, familiar with this document.
Although after more than ten years of its adoption the concept needs to be revised, but substantively the document adequately reflects the ideology of all activities of our country in the international arena and determines the main directions, ways and means of implementing the long-term national interests of the Republic of Tajikistan. Figuratively speaking, the concept is similar to a compass that is used as a guide for taking steps in the international arena, subject to the foreseeable perspectives.
Therefore, the Government of Tajikistan, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Tajikistan, is instructed to elaborate a draft of a new Foreign Policy Concept of the country, taking into account the changes, which have occurred in the international arena that is necessary to define the main goals and vectors of the foreign policy of Tajikistan, and to submit it by the end of the year to the President of the country for approval.
The core of the new Foreign Policy Concept of the Republic of Tajikistan should be the effective and consistent implementation of the foreign policy in line with national interests of the country. The main features and essential elements of the document should be realism and balance.
Recently the issue of national interests of the Republic of Tajikistan in foreign policy has increasingly become a subject of discussion in various scientific, social and political circles. Well, what are these interests at this stage and what they will be in the near future?
First of all, they are provided for protection and strengthening the state independence, ensuring national security, creating favorable conditions for the sustainable development of the economy and gradual improving of the living standards of people, ensuring the country’s energy independence, food security, bringing the country out of transport and communication deadlock, protecting the honour, rights, freedom and interests of the citizens of Tajikistan within the country and abroad.
At the same time, as it was mentioned earlier, the establishment of good-neighborliness belt round the borders Tajikistan, the development of a relationship of trust, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with all countries of the world, strengthening the positive perception of Tajikistan in the world, improving the image of the country, promoting the constructive and legal activities of the Tajik diaspora and our compatriots in other countries, all these measures also meet the basic foreign policy interests of our country.
Therefore, it is obvious that all public authorities while developing relations with foreign countries and international organizations within their authorities (intra vires) should be guided by the provisions of the revised Foreign Policy Concept.
In accordance with the Constitution of the Republic of Tajikistan, the defining of direction and content of the foreign policy is a prerogative of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the most important government agency for the implementation of foreign policy is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Practical implementation of the overall foreign policy of the Republic of Tajikistan, realization of concrete steps in this field and providing legal support to the foreign policy, coordination of our international relations with a view to implementing a common policy in our relations with foreign countries and international organizations are among those tasks.
Although, I have repeatedly pointed this out, I would like once again to underscore the demand for economic diplomacy, because in recent years, alongside with the use of methods of traditional, classical diplomacy, in most countries of the world the effective use of economic diplomacy instruments has significantly increased. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should study more thoroughly this practice and creatively use its best models.
Alongside with analytical thinking and knowledge of foreign languages, every Tajikistan diplomat should have a perfect economic knowledge and clear vision of the economic background and the very essence of major international problems.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in its daily activities should take into account geo-economic realities of the modern world and actually turn towards economic issues and problems. It is important, not only to assist in attracting foreign investments into Tajikistan and to promote the development of trade and economic relations of the country, but also in collaboration with branch ministries to create a permanent system of the global economy trends assessment with regard to our country and the region on the whole.
At present situation, the importance of forecasting events and processes of economic and political life in the region, the main obstacles in the way of implementing of our foreign policy and timely and adequate response to them has significally increased. Taking into account these imperatives, the Foreign Ministry should develop and implement a complex of additional measures.
One of these measures could be establishment of a Foreign Policy Council as an advisory and consultative body under the President of the Republic of Tajikistan. In the framework of this informal Forum, it would be appropriate to organize direct dialogue with participation of experts on international relations, veterans of the diplomatic service, scientists and specialists on international relations and media executives, to discuss the issues of vital importance of international life and foreign policy, and carry out forecasting the key developments and trends all over the world and in the region, as well as public opinion surveys, evaluation of international initiatives of our country and other issues.
And then. Tajikistan diplomats still do not have their professional holiday in the national calendar. I think that it is time to take an appropriate decision, after studying all sides of the issue and in accordance with the existing international practice.
Everyone here is familiar with the place and importance of activities our embassies in the diplomatic service system. But we must not forget that ambassadors and embassies they are in charge of, represent not only the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They are representatives of the President of Tajikistan accredited to the heads of other states, and responsible to represent and protect the national interests of the country. This fact gives the ambassadors and embassies greater authorities and at the same time imposes a great responsibility to them before the state and the people of Tajikistan.
Our Ambassadors and diplomatic representatives should not only be fully aware of the situation in the host country, but they are also obliged during diplomatic meetings and negotiations competently and accurately convey information on the situation in Tajikistan and properly represent our rich culture and history. In addition, they are designated to clearly see the interconnection of country’s objectives with the general situation in the world and the region. We expect from them professional analysis, real forecasts and concrete proposals. But, unfortunately, the quality and content of most of the information coming from our ambassadors and diplomatic representatives is still far from satisfactory.
At the same time, it is necessary to pay more attention to reasonable and timely initiatives of our diplomatic representations in foreign countries and international organizations. The Management of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should practically support those undertaking, which could be a breakthrough in certain directions of the foreign policy.
In general, it should be noted that with regard to the matters of personnel we still have many shortcomings and deficiencies, this also concerns the training of worthy and competent personnel of high professional level, specialists on important legal, economic and other aspects of international problems and issues of selection and placement of personnel.
Today the central office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our embassies and missions abroad should pay a serious attention to these issues, so that the best specialists could have a chance to be enrolled.
Consular services are subject to lots of complaints and criticism, especially from foreign citizens. I think that we need to address current deficiencies and take the abovementioned issues more serious, because they directly affect the international image of Tajikistan.
Taking into account the capabilities of modern information technologies, we should think about creating a wide range information network that would connect Consular Service, Border Department and Security Service, and would completely eliminate the possibility of interfering in consular affairs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Internal Affairs, State Committee for National Security, Border Department, Migration Service are obliged in a period of six months to submit their proposals on the establishment and functioning of an electronic network for the issuance of visas and entry and exit of citizens, including foreigners.
The issue of monitoring the implementation of international treaties of Tajikistan with foreign countries is also one of the most important issues and in this regard the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should significantly improve its activities. This sector should be strengthened by the best specialists, because expert assessment of all projects developed by other ministries entrusted to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should submit on a regular basis to the Government analytical reports and proposals on the implementation of the international treaties.
In addition, during the preparation of official visits of the Head of State to the foreign countries, focus should be not on the number of agreements, but on their quality and their importance to our country.
Forming of positive international image of Tajikistan was before, and will remain in the future one of the main objectives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and diplomatic missions of our country. Issues of protecting honor and dignity in the international arena and the overseas prestige as well as establishing reliable partnership are on the top of the agenda for Tajikistan. The situation in this area leaves much to be desired, and therefore the Ministry should significantly raise this level.
Our country has been attached more and more importance to the state and prospects of its information environment, its protection and saturation, and we consider this factor as one of the main ways to create a positive perception of the country in the international arena. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should radically improve its interaction with mass media and expand its presence in the Internet and the social networks.
In conclusion, I would like to remind you that plenty of important work to do waits for us this year. The major international events expected to be held in the country, including the those related to the International Year of Water Cooperation. Success of these events in many cases depends on the quality of activities of diplomats and their professional diligence. I rely on the fact that your work in the future will meet the up to date demands and bring our country’s international strategy and practices closer to achieving its main goals.
I wish you success and renewed creative energy
in this important arena.
Be healthy and happy.