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2022  N3-4(204-205)
The President of the Republic of India was the first high-level guest that Serdar Berdimuhamedov received in his capacity as newly elected President of Turkmenistan.
In early April, President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind arrived on the first ever state visit to Turkmenistan. President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov welcomed the President of India at the international airport of Ashgabat that was decorated with the State flags of the two countries.
The leaders of the two countries reviewed the Guard of Honor and paid tribute to the State Flag of Turkmenistan. Then, accompanied by the honorary escort of motorcyclists, the motorcade of the distinguished guest left for the place of temporary residence, Yildyz (Star) hotel.
On the following day, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov held talks with President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind. During the one-on-one talks followed by the meeting with participation of the two delegations, the heads of state discussed a wide range of issues relating to the Turkmen-Indian cooperation, in which the trade-economic sphere occupies an important place. According to the sides, there are good prospects for development of mutually beneficial relations in the energy, industrial and transport sectors, as well as in the field of high technologies, agriculture and trade.
The Presidents discussed in detail the pace of implementation of major international projects such as the construction of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline and establishment of Central Asia-Middle East and South-North transport corridors.
The sides expressed confidence that concerted efforts in the realization of the bilateral cooperation potential will soon bring trade between Turkmenistan and India to a qualitatively new level and help significantly increase and diversify mutual trade.
The heads of state also exchanged views on a number of topical regional and global issues of mutual interest.
In this regard, the sides discussed the situation in Afghanistan. As President Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted, Turkmenistan’s position is based on the indivisibility of political, economic and humanitarian aspects and provision of assistance and support to the neighboring state.
According to him, the economic aspect of this position provides for Afghanistan’s stronger integration into the regional and international infrastructure projects and modern world economic processes. In humanitarian terms, Turkmenistan stands for rendering targeted international assistance to the Afghan people in restoring and developing the social sphere.
“In this context, our country highly values India’s efforts in this area, including the Regional Security Dialogue on Afghanistan that was successfully held on November 10-11, 2021 and the Delhi Declaration adopted on its outcomes, which is a good platform for reaching a regional consensus on the Afghan agenda,” the Turkmen leader emphasized.
During the talks, the sides also discussed issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasizing the importance of effective international cooperation in this area.
President Ram Nath Kovind invited the head of the Turkmen state to pay a state visit to the Republic of India at a convenient time for him. The invitation was accepted with gratitude. The dates of the visit will be agreed through the diplomatic channels.
At the end of the talks, the sides signed bilateral documents. The heads of state witnessed the signing of the memorandums of understanding on cooperation in the field of emergency management, in the field of youth and exchange of financial information related to the legalization of proceeds from crime and financing of terrorism, and the Program of Cooperation in the field of culture and art for 2022–2025 years. The heads of the two states adopted Joint Turkmen-Indian Statement on the outcomes of the talks.
At the end of the signing ceremony, the Presidents of Turkmenistan and India made statements for press.
Later, Ram Nath Kovind visited the village of Kipchak, where he paid tribute to the memory of the first president of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov, by laying flowers at his Mausoleum. Then, the distinguished guest proceeded to the southern part of Ashgabat, where he laid a wreath of flowers at the Monument of Independence of Turkmenistan. According to the established tradition, the President of India planted a tree in the Alley of Honored Guests as a symbol of Turkmen-Indian friendship.
On the same day, the President of the Republic of India met with the citizens of Turkmenistan that received education and completed advanced training courses funded by the technical and economic cooperation program of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations, as well as those who studied Hindi at the higher education establishments of Turkmenistan. The meeting took place at Yildyz hotel in Ashgabat.
In the evening, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov hosted an official dinner in honor of the distinguished guest, at which the two heads of state exchanged speeches.
A separate cultural program was prepared for the spouse of the President of India, Savita Kovind. During her stay in Ashgabat, she visited the Wedding Palace “Bagt Keshgi” (Palace of Happiness), where she got acquainted with the peculiarities of the national wedding ceremony, viewed the exposition of the National Museum of Turkmen Carpet and visited the capital’s center of festivities “Gul Zaman” (Age of Flowers).
On the second day of his state visit to Turkmenistan, President of the Republic of India Ram Nath Kovind visited the memorable places and sights of Ashgabat.
The President of India viewed the Memorial Complex “People’s Memory” in the southwestern part of the capital and laid flowers at the monuments to defenders of the Motherland.
Then, the motorcade of the distinguished guest went to “Bagtyyarlyk” sports complex, where Ram Nath Kovind laid flowers at the monument to Mahatma Gandhi. The monument to the thinker, advocate of peace and fighter for independence of India was unveiled with participation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his official visit to Turkmenistan in July 2015. The President of India planted a young tree in the square as a symbol of friendship between the peoples of Turkmenistan and India and also visited the yoga center located in the sports complex.
Later, the President of the Republic of India visited the Institute of International Relations (IIR) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, where he met with the faculty and students of the IIR and took part in the opening of “Corner of India” at the IIR. At the opening ceremony, it was noted that “Corner of India” is destined to become a platform for popularization of the historical, cultural and spiritual heritage of the Indian people in Turkmenistan because it is fully equipped with the necessary information resources, including audio and video materials.
In the afternoon, Ram Nath Kovind arrived at the International Akhal-Teke Equestrian Complex, located in the picturesque foothills of Kopetdag.
The distinguished Indian guest viewed the elite of the Akhal-Teke horse breeding and learned about the specifics of training the horses of this ancient breed. Then, the group of national equestrian games “Galkynysh”, famous for its victories at the world festivals of circus art and prestigious international competitions, demonstrated horse riding skills.
In conclusion, the President of the Republic of India proceeded to the Magtymguly National Music and Drama Theater, where he attended a concert with participation of the country’s masters of art. Upon completion of his visit, the distinguished guest left home.
A new vivid page was added to the multidimensional history of international cooperation between Turkmenistan and India. The summit confirmed the constructive spirit of Ashgabat and Delhi for the positive development of partnership in all areas.


©Turkmenistan Analytic magazine, 2005