Raviliya Kadyrova and Elvira Kadyrova
The world community, through a resolution of the UN General Assembly, passed unanimously in September 2019, declared 2021 as the international year of Peace and Trust. It was at the initiative of Turkmenistan.
No one could guess at that time that the world of 2021 would be the world desperately in need of peace and trust.
There is the threat of the outbreak of several wars. The situation is compound manifold by the coronavirus.
Turkmenistan, in keeping with its tradition of matching its words with its deeds, is leading the way.
The year has just started and Turkmenistan has already crossed two important milestones for building peace and trust in the Eurasian landmass.
In a string of ceremonies on 14 January 2021, that were a mix of physical presence and online participation, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan opened three key components of the infrastructure that will contribute hugely to the economic remake of Afghanistan, thereby making significant contribution to building peace and trust.
The Kerki-Andkhoi power transmission line will triple the volume of electricity supplied by Turkmenistan to Afghanistan. The price of electricity has been sliced to less than half of the previous price to help Afghanistan bolster its economic and industrial potential.
The Aqina-Andkhoi railway line connects with the Imamnazar-Aqina line. Both of them have been built by Turkmenistan to enhance the connectivity options of Afghanistan.
The fiber optic link, opened at two border points the same day, will increase the speed of Internet in Afghanistan and afford the Internet access to a wide segment of the population.
Peace is built on trust, and trust requires demonstrable actions, such as the opening of infrastructure objects between Turkmenistan and Afghanistan on 14 January 2021.
Another great breakthrough came within a week.
On 21 January 2021, a delegation of Azerbaijan, led by its foreign minister Jeyhun Bayramov, visited Turkmenistan.
The purpose was to sign a memorandum of understanding for joint development of a hydrocarbon field in the Caspian.
Previously, this field was called Kyapaz by one side and Serdar by the other. Now it has been renamed Dostluk, which means friendship.
President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President Ilham Aliyev had a summit meeting and witnessed the signing ceremony through the video link. The foreign ministers of both the countries put their signatures on the MoU.
This not just the pledge to resolve the ownership of a hydrocarbon field and develop it jointly. The document that was the product of a lot of hard work and quiet diplomacy opens the way for a number of other possibilities.
The question of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline can be taken up now with new resolve. The goodwill created by this can multiply the potential of the Lapis Lazuli Corridor. There is the incentive for mutual investments and joint project in a number of areas. The economic integration of the eastern and western neighbours in the Caspian will befit everyone in the Eurasian landmass from China to Europe, and will carry along the friends in South Asia and Russia.
To paraphrase the words of Neil Armstrong, this is one small document between two countries, one giant leap for the mankind in building peace and trust in the world.
The year has just started. Turkmenistan is leading the way. /// nCa, 25 January 2021