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Independence Day Congratulations

Television Recording of Independence Day Congratulations by U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan Robert Patterson

October 17, 2011

Hello, my name is Robert Patterson and I am the U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan. On behalf of the United States government, let me offer my heartfelt congratulations to the people of Turkmenistan on your 20th anniversary of independence.

Over the past twenty years, Turkmenistan has achieved a great deal economically. Visitors to Ashgabat from the United States regularly marvel at the transformations that have occurred in your capital, Ashgabat. No less impressive have been Turkmenistan’s efforts to develop its identity and preserve its autonomy in a challenging part of the world. 

As Turkmenistan develops and prospers it is playing an ever more vital role in the development of the important Central Asian region. Your President, President Berdimuhamedov, has pursued a clear policy of “positive neutrality,” that has allowed your country to cultivate good, constructive relations both with its neighbors and with countries very far from Turkmenistan, such as the United States. 

The United States highly values Turkmenistan’s contributions to regional stability and economic integration. We agree with your government that closer regional cooperation will foster stability and promote prosperity, and we are eager to work with Turkmenistan in further integrating the free flow of energy, goods, and information.

Among the projects that President Berdimuhamedov has launched and that we believe has great regional potential is the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India gas pipeline or TAPI. When built, Turkmenistan’s enormous gas reserves should benefit the economies of its regional partners Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India, and we hope that revenues from the sales of gas will further improve the standard of living of the people of Turkmenistan.  

Although the United States and Turkmenistan are of one mind about further peaceful regional integration, our relationship is not confined to that alone. Our countries have a growing commercial relationship, as was evidenced by the May 2011 U.S. Business Exhibition in Ashgabat. Our governments have also been working hard to acquaint our citizens with each others’ cultures.   

In fact, as Turkmenistan celebrates its independence, preparations are underway in Washington D.C. to host the first-ever Turkmen Culture Days in the United States. These Culture days will be a superb opportunity for the people of the United States to learn about Turkmenistan’s amazing achievements since independence, as well as to acquaint themselves with Turkmenistan’s rich culture. My country very much looks forward to showcasing the very best that your country has to offer from centuries past, and to partnering with you in the years to come.

Again, all my best to you on the eve of your 20th anniversary of independence. I wish you and your loved ones prosperity, health, and peace. Thank  you.