Ashgabat (Turkmenistan), July 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov reviewed the full range of bilateral relations during their delegation level talks here on Saturday.
The Prime Minister, who issued a joint statement with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow here on Saturday, hailed the ‘long-standing’ ties between the two nations.
The Prime Minister said: “It is a great pleasure to visit Turkmenistan. Our long standing and deep rooted civilization and cultural ties are well known. It has created a sense of goodwill and similarity between our people. It is a strong foundation of close relations between our two countries. India attaches great importance to this relationship.”
Modi said: “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.”
The Prime Minister asserted that the most significant initiative in the relationship between the two nations is the TAPI gas pipeline.
“This could transform regional economic corporation and bring prosperity along the route. We welcome the arrangements between the four countries, where we underline the need to implement the project quickly,” he added.
The Prime Minister pointed out that India and Turkmenistan have a common purpose in combating terrorism and extremism.
Modi said: “As India deepens its relation with the Central Asia, Turkmenistan will play an essential part. We have shared interest in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and Central Asia. We also have common purpose in combating terrorism and extremism in our region.”
Prime Minister Modi further stressed that connecting South and Central Asia will open up new economic opportunities.
He added: “I thank Mr. President for sharing this vision and for the strong support to the relationship.”
Earlier, the Prime Minister was accorded a ceremonial welcome in Turkmenistan, where he arrived on Friday on the fourth leg of his Central Asian tour.
MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “Building an important relationship. Delegn level talks led by PM and President review the full range of bilateral relns.”
MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted: “Speaking one-to-one. President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and PM @narendramodi consult before delegn level talks.”
This is the first visit to Turkmenistan by an Indian Prime Minister after PV Narasimha Rao’s visit in 1995. Besides Turkmenistan, the Prime Minister will visit Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
(With Agency Inputs)