Relations of Tajikistan with Turkmenistan

01.03.2013 10:10

After gaining independence, the political basis of the Tajik-Turkmen relations was formed on January 27, 1993 by signing of the Protocol "On the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Tajikistan and Turkmenistan."

The Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan functions in Ashgabat since February 1993. The Embassy of Turkmenistan operates in Dushanbe as well.

Since the establishment of diplomatic relations, Tajik-Turkmen bilateral relations have traditionally been built on the basis of mutually beneficial cooperation. Generally, Tajik-Turkmen relations successfully develop in political, trade-economic, scientific-technical, cultural and other spheres. They are characterized by the constant presence of the spirit of mutual trust, the full identity or similarity of views on many major international and regional issues of mutual interest.

During the period of independence, political contacts of Tajikistan with Turkmenistan were rich in the regular official and working meetings of the Presidents and members of the governments of two countries. There is no doubt, that the results of these meetings largely determined the rhythm and dynamics of the development of bilateral relations. The most important issues of bilateral and multilateral Tajik-Turkmen relations, their prior directions and perspective of further deepening were discussed during the regular meetings of the Presidents.

An official working visit of the Government of Tajikistan delegation, led by the Prime Minister, was paid to Turkmenistan in January 1993. A package of documents, aimed at settling various aspects of bilateral cooperation in trade and economic sphere, was signed as a result of this visit.

In July 1995, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon paid a working visit to Ashgabat at the invitation of the first President of Turkmenistan S. Niyazov. This visit resulted in a Joint Communiqué and other documents aimed at regulation of bilateral relations in various fields.

In a short period (December 2006-February 2007), the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon has twice visited Turkmenistan. Actual issues of bilateral and multilateral Tajik-Turkmen relations were discussed during these visits. The President also attended the opening ceremony of the United Nations Regional Centre for Preventive Diplomacy in Central Asia.

The mutual official visits in a short period of 2007 became a significant event in the history of the Tajik-Turkmen relations. The official visit of the President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to the Republic of Tajikistan was paid in early October 2007 and the official visit of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon to Turkmenistan was paid in December of the same year. These visits, no doubt, identified the rhythm and dynamics of bilateral relations and identified their prior directions for and the prospects for further deepening.

In 2009, in the framework of political contacts at the highest political level, a working visit of the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon was paid to Turkmenistan. The sides exchanged views on the prospects of bilateral cooperation in trade-economic, scientific-technical, energy, cultural, humanitarian and other areas during this visit.

In March 2010, a state visit of the President of Turkmenistan was paid to the Republic of Tajikistan.

This visit was an important new step in the development of Tajik-Turkmen relations, which are based on the unbroken traditions of good neighborliness, friendship, brotherhood and the principles of mutually beneficial cooperation.

The next negotiations, held on September 3, 2011 in Dushanbe, were another convincing sign of commitment to the full-scale partnership for the benefit of the two brotherly nations.

On 22-24 August 2012, the President of the Republic of Tajikistan paid an official visit to Turkmenistan. Another Tajik-Turkmen meeting on the highest level consolidated the intergovernmental agreement reached earlier and marked new priority areas of mutually beneficial cooperation. During the visit, the sides signed a package of documents aimed at further intensification of multilateral cooperation in the sphere of economy, education, culture, and also in the field of interregional cooperation.

As a part of Navruz International Festival , which was widely celebrated in March 2013 in Ashgabat with the presidents of 10 countries of Central Asia taking part in the celebration, a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding between Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Tajikistan on the Construction of the Railroad “Tajikistan-Afghanistan –Turkmenistan” was signed. The project aimed at building a new railway line will become an important link in the international transport traffic between the countries of Asian region. The realization of this project will increase Tajikistan’s capacity for diversifying its transport corridors and will contribute to further development of cooperation between the participating countries, increase trade, create new jobs and give a new positive impetus to attraction of the foreign investments. Tajikistan was created to address the issues of the implementation of the railway project.

An official ceremony of starting building the railway “Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Tajikistan” was held on June 5, 2013 in town Turkmenabade of Lebap region of Turkmenistan. The Presidents of Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan attended the ceremony.

The legal base of Tajik-Turkmen bilateral relations regulates the main areas of cooperation. The approved documents between the two countries provide a solid legal basis for the further strengthening of bilateral cooperation in the political, economic, cultural, humanitarian, investment, tax, and customs areas.

The coordination of foreign policy efforts of the two countries on a multilateral basis - in the framework of international and regional organizations such as the UN, CIS, OSCE, ECO and IFAS – is very intense. Areas of co-operation within these organizations are the widest - from the creation and coordination of foreign policy approaches to address actual international and regional problems to establishing a broad range of cooperation in trade, economic and humanitarian fields.

In order to enhance bilateral Tajik-Turkmen cooperation and fuller use of a mutually beneficial basis of wide potential that exists between the two countries, are helding meetings of the joint Tajik-Turkmen Intergovernmental Commission on Trade-Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, during which the sides discussed the development of bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, energy and industry, transport and communications, agriculture, health and humanitarian and issues of debt and financial requirements.

Tajikistan imports Turkmen oil, refined cottonseed oil, cement.

Turkmenistan receives consumer goods, aluminum and articles thereof, other agricultural products from Tajikistan.

Actual areas of cooperation are energy, transport, agriculture and other sectors of the economy. Tajikistan and Turkmenistan have established quite a successful partnership in the field of rail transportation and international automobile communication.

Humanitarian cooperation between the two countries are also developing in line with that of positivism, which is characteristic of the whole of the Tajik-Turkmen bilateral relations. Delegations of the Republic of Tajikistan at various levels regularly take part in events organized by the Turkmen side in cultural, scientific - technical areas. The Days of Culture of the Republic of Tajikistan in Turkmenistan and the Days of Culture of Turkmenistan in Tajikistan, as well as conferences and art exhibitions are conducting on regular basis in both countries.

On January 27, 2013 Tajikistan and Turkmenistan marked the 20th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between our two countries. On this occasion in Ashgabat and Dushanbe were conducted various cultural events, which were attended by creative teams from Tajikistan, organized, exhibitions and sales of textile fairs.

In general, the current state of the Tajik-Turkmen relations has a tendency of phased expansion. The process of practical implementation of the mutual desire of our two countries to work more closely in multi-dimensional cooperation in accordance with the potential and needs of the people can be seen in bilateral relations.