I.P.O. Information Service
Ashgabat, 25 March 2002/P/RE/17552c-is
The President of the International Progress Organization, Professor Hans Koechler, yesterday concluded an information visit to the Republic of Turkmenistan. He observed the celebrations on the occasion of the Nawroz festival on 21 March.
At the conclusion of his visit, Professor Koechler emphasized the special role of Turkmenistan in the present international context and in regard to the recent developments in Central Asia. In view of the unique situation of Turkmenistan at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, he welcomed the contribution of the Turkmen people to the interaction of cultures and to peaceful co-existence among nations.
The President of the I.P.O. underlined the importance of the status of permanent neutrality chosen by the Republic of Uzbekistan. He characterized this foreign policy orientation as an important stabilizing factor in the Central Asian region especially in regard to recent global developments. Professor Koechler stated that the acknowledgment of Turkmenistan's neutrality by the General Assembly of the United Nations has been a milestone in the international developments that followed the establishment of independent states on the territory of the former Soviet Union. In resolution 50/80, adopted on 12 December 1995, the United Nations General Assembly had stated its recognition and support to the status of permanent neutrality declared by Turkmenistan and had expressed the hope "that the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan will contribute to the strengthening of peace and security in the region." The President of the I.P.O. explained that this goal has become of special relevance since last year's developments in Central Asia. He also referred to the Ashgabat Declaration on the status of permanent neutrality of Turkmenistan adopted on 11 December 2000.
Prof. Koechler's visit to Turkmenistan is part of a series of information visits to Central Asia and the Caucasus. He earlier visited Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan.
END/ I.P.O. President visits Turkmenistan/ 25-03-2002/P/RE/17552c-is