Top Turkmen diplomat touts non-aligned summit

By Dilara Hamit

ANKARA

A recent summit in Azerbaijan made it possible to constructively consider the role and place of the non-aligned movement in the modern world, said the foreign minister of Turkmenistan — a member of the movement — on Monday.

The Baku Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement on Oct. 25 discussed issues on the implementation of the movement’s goals and objectives, taking into account current realities and prospects for the long-term development of international cooperation as a whole, Rashid Meredov told a press briefing in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital.

The 18th forum of the 120-member group, which covers 55% of the world’s population, discussed responses to contemporary challenges around the world, at a time when the relevance of the movement in the post-Cold War era is under question.

Turkey has been closely following developments within the non-aligned movement and since 2006 has taken part in high-level meetings of the movement as a guest country.

Meredov’s briefing was attended by the heads of diplomatic missions and representative offices of international organizations working in Turkmenistan and representatives of local and foreign media accredited in the country.

“Fundamental principles, which include respect for fundamental human rights, the goals and principles of the UN Charter, respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all nations, the promotion of mutual interests and cooperation, respect for justice and international obligations, the settlement of all international disputes by peaceful means in accordance with the UN Charter and a number of other areas, formed the basis of the foreign policy of neutral Turkmenistan in the early years of our independence,” he said.

At the summit, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the president of Turkmenistan, assessed the current state of the world and proposed serious initiatives aimed at resolving a number of pressing global issues.

Berdimuhamedov “voiced initiatives on key aspects of global sustainable development such as the peaceful coexistence of states, countering terrorism, resolving refugee problems, achieving food security, and environmental well-being,” Meredov said.

“We are convinced that our states should act from a consolidated position in defense of the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries, actively uphold justice and equality in international economic relations, and strongly oppose discrimination, unreasonable, often artificial barriers in the world trade, for the recognition of the economic sovereignty of peoples and states,” Berdimuhamedov said in a speech at the summit.

The movement’s first summit was held in Belgrade, now the capital of Serbia, in 1961, with the participation of 29 countries. They were committed to keeping their foreign policy non-aligned and not participating in military and political blocs. They also stressed the need for peaceful coexistence based on the principles of independence and equality.

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