Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 154

President Saparmurat Niyazov yesterday told his country in a televised address that the UN General Assembly had the preceding day approved unanimously a resolution to recognize Turkmenistan’s status of permanent neutrality. Niyazov had announced Turkmenistan’s decision in his September speech to the General Assembly. Foreign Minister Boris Shikhmuradov said yesterday that the resolution is the first of its kind in the UN’s history. The document records Turkmenistan’s pledge to promote peace, security, and good-neighborly relations in the region, and calls on UN member countries to respect Turkmenistan’s neutral status, independence, and territorial integrity. (18)

Turkmen leaders are known to be concerned by the possibility of spillovers from the wars in Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbek ideas of aggrandizement, and the intentions of neighboring Iran which has its own Turcoman minority. But while those risks seem largely hypothetical, Turkmenistan is here and now trying to stay out of multilateral security arrangements within the CIS, although it has some bilateral agreements in this field with Russia. Shikhmuradov publicly turned down Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s calls last September for the formation of a CIS political-military bloc. The UN recognition of its permanent neutrality should help Turkmenistan resist such pressures in the future.

1. Interfax, December 13

2. Reuter, December 14

3. Reuters, December 13

4. Interfax, December 13

5. Interfax, December 13

6. Interfax, December 13

7. Interfax, December 13

8. BNS, December 13

9. Interfax, December 13

10. Reuter and Interfax, December 13

11. Interfax Financial Information Agency, December 13

12. BNS, December 11 through 13

13. Interfax-Ukraine, December 8, 9, 11

14. Reuter, December 13

15. Flux, Basapress, Moldova Suverana, December 12

16. Noyan-Tapan, December 13

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