On behalf of President Barack Obama and the American people, I extend my warmest congratulations and best wishes to the people of Turkmenistan on 20 years of official neutrality.
This year, Turkmenistan celebrates a major milestone. Turkmenistan’s Council of Elders named 2015 the Year of Neutrality and Peace, marking the twentieth anniversary of Turkmenistan’s recognition by the United Nations as a neutral country. In the twenty years since that designation, Turkmenistan’s positive neutrality has contributed to regional and international peace and stability and set a useful example for other countries.
When I was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan, I pledged to broaden and strengthen the bilateral relationship with the Government of Turkmenistan. For this reason, I promised to ensure that we maintain a constructive dialogue with the Government of Turkmenistan across a full spectrum of issues that are of mutual interest. This dialogue is based on the principle of frank, open discussion of all the issues important to us.
I believe that the relationship between Turkmenistan and the United States can be very productive for both of our countries. I am committed to a new chapter of friendship and cooperation between our countries and I truly believe we can build on the successes in our relationship across the whole range of issues, including economic development, governance, security, health, education, and culture, among many others.
My confidence in what our nations can achieve stems from the values we share. We may have different histories and speak different languages, but we share a basic desire to promote stability and security, economic prosperity, and above all peaceful relations with all nations.
We look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the Government of Turkmenistan on a broad range of issues during 2016 and for many years to come.
Thank you and congratulations!