Text of PM’s Media Statement in Turkmenistan

Published By : Admin | July 11, 2015 | 15:20 IST
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His Excellency Mr President,

Members of the media,

It is a great pleasure to visit Turkmenistan. I am also delighted to see Ashgabat. It stands on a once thriving trade route since ancient times. It is now a beautiful 'Ak Shaharim' or the White City. It reflects your great vision and the nation's prosperity.

Mr. President, I am very grateful to you and the people of Turkmenistan for a very warm welcome and generous hospitality.

Our long standing and deep-rooted civilisational and cultural ties are well known. It has created a sense of familiarity and goodwill between our people. It is a strong foundation of close relations between our two countries.

India attaches great importance to this relationship. There is enormous potential for cooperation between India, a nation of 1.25 billion people with a large and rapidly growing economy, and Turkmenistan, a nation rich in resources.

As India deepens its relations with Central Asia, Turkmenistan will play a crucial role in it.

We have shared interests in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and Central Asia. We also have common purpose in combating terrorism and extremism in our region.

Connecting South and Central Asia will open up new economic opportunities in our region and beyond.

I thank Mr. President for sharing this vision and for his strong support to the relationship.

The most significant initiative in our relationship is the TAPI Gas Pipeline. This could transform regional economic cooperation and bring prosperity along the route. We welcomed the agreements between the four countries for the pipeline. We underlined the need to implement the project quickly.

I also proposed to President that we should explore multiple options, including the additional possibility of land-sea route through Iran.

I conveyed our interest in long term investment in the energy sector in Turkmenistan. We welcome the decision by ONGC Videsh Limited to open an office in Ashgabat.

We had a very positive discussion on India's interest in investment in downstream industries, including petrochemicals and fertilizer. The Memorandum of Understanding in the fertilizer sector will enable long term arrangements for supply of fertilizers from here to India.

Connectivity is an area of priority for both countries. If we use the Iran route, Ashgabat is the first capital we would reach in Central Asia.

We are grateful for Turkmenistan’s support to India joining the Ashgabat Agreement on trade and transit. I have also proposed that Turkmenistan becomes a member of the International North South Transport Corridor.

Together with the Kazakhstan-Turkmenistan-Iran rail link, and India's proposed investment in Chahbahar Port in Iran, these initiatives will strengthen connectivity between our countries.

Training and human resource development is an important area of cooperation. India will enhance its training scholarship programme. I welcome the upgrading of the Turkmen India Industrial Training Institute in Ashgabat.

The agreements on sports and tourism will deepen the contacts between our people.

Later today, I will have the pleasure of unveiling the bust of Mahatma Gandhi. It will be a reminder of our shared commitment to the cause of a peaceful, inclusive and a just world.

I am looking forward to the inauguration of the Centre of Yoga and Traditional Medicines. It is a tribute to our cultural links. It also gives us opportunities to revive our very old tradition of fruitful cooperation in traditional medicines. I also proposed to him that Ashgabat could be developed as an International Centre for Holistic Healthcare. I offered full support for it.

The defence agreement is a reflection of our shared interest in closer security cooperation, including in combating terrorism.

I am grateful to President and the people of Turkmenistan for the support in making the International Day of Yoga on June 21 a huge global success.

I congratulated the President on the 20th anniversary of the adoption of Permanent Neutrality by Turkmenistan. India acknowledges the contributions of this policy to peace and stability in Turkmenistan and the wider region.

Again, Mr. President, this has been a short but very productive visit. I am confident that our relationship will grow in strength in the coming years.

I look forward to receiving you in India, Mr. President, in the near future.

Thank you.

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Excellencies,

I welcome you all to the first India-Central Asia Summit.

The diplomatic relations between India and Central Asia countries have completed 30 meaningful years.

Our cooperation has achieved many successes over the past three decades.

And now, at this crucial juncture, we must define an ambitious vision for the coming years as well.

A vision that can fulfil the aspirations of our people, especially the younger generation, in the changing world.

Excellencies,

At the bilateral level, India has close relations with all the Central Asian countries.

Excellencies,

Kazakhstan has become a vital partner for India's energy security. I express my condolences for the recent loss of life and property in Kazakhstan.

Our state governments are also active partners in our growing cooperation with Uzbekistan. This includes my home state of Gujarat as well.

We have an active partnership with Kyrgyzstan in the field of education and high-altitude research. Thousands of Indian students are studying there.

With Tajikistan, we have a longstanding cooperation in the field of security. And we are continuously strengthening it.

Turkmenistan is an important part of Indian vision in the field of regional connectivity, which is evident from our participation in the Ashgabat Agreement.

Excellencies,

We all have the same concerns and objectives for regional security. We are all concerned about the developments in Afghanistan.

In this context also, our mutual cooperation has become even more important for regional security and stability.

Excellencies,

Today's summit has three main objectives.

First, to make it clear that cooperation between India and Central Asia is essential for regional security and prosperity.

From Indian point of view, I would like to emphasise that Central Asia is central to India’s vision of an integrated and stable extended neighbourhood.

The second objective is to give an effective structure to our cooperation. This will establish a framework of regular interactions at different levels and among various stakeholders.

And, the third objective is to create an ambitious roadmap for our cooperation.

Through this, we will be able to adopt an integrated approach for regional connectivity and cooperation for the next 30 years.

Excellencies,

I once again warmly welcome you to the first meeting of the India-Central Asia Summit.