[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1998, Book I)]
[April 23, 1998]
[Pages 607-608]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Joint Statement on United States-Turkmenistan Relations
April 23, 1998

    During their April 23, 1998 meeting in Washington, Presidents 
Clinton and Niyazov agreed to expand 
cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Turkmenistan 
to promote its development as a market democracy. The United States 
strongly supports Turkmenistan's independence, sovereignty and 
territorial integrity and respects its neutrality. Through governmental 
and private sector partnerships, the United States and Turkmenistan aim 
to strengthen political, economic, security, commercial and agricultural 
ties for the benefit of both countries.
    Presidents Clinton and Niyazov agreed 
on the importance of rapid development of Caspian energy resources and 
efficient export routes to world markets to promote regional 
development. U.S. companies are deeply engaged in these activities and 
this engagement is growing. The two Presidents focused particular 
attention on strengthening east-west routes in the Eurasian transport 
corridor. They expressed their support for practical steps to develop a 
trans-Caspian pipeline as part of a multiple pipeline network. President 
Niyazov welcomed the support of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency to 
assess the feasibility of a trans-Caspian pipeline. In this context, the 
Presidents favor early resolution of the Caspian delimitation dispute. 
They welcomed the recent positive developments in the Afghanistan peace 
process, which could create new commercial opportunities and advance 
prospects for construction of a trans-Afghan pipeline.
    The United States and Turkmenistan seek to expand economic and 
commercial relations, including greater trade and investment. The two 
nations will work toward completing a Bilateral Investment Treaty. Both 
Presidents welcomed the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding 
between USAID and the Government of Turkmenistan on technical and 
professional assistance to the Turkmen energy sector, and of a 
Cooperation Agreement between the U.S. Export Import Bank and the 
Government of Turkmenistan. Extensive potential exists to deepen 
agricultural cooperation, building on the already active role of U.S. 
firms in Turkmenistan. The United States and Turkmenistan agreed to 
launch a bilateral dialogue on energy policy and commercial issues.
    Turkmenistan has made significant progress toward economic 
stabilization. To sustain this progress, President Clinton encouraged 
deeper structural reforms, including privatization, in close cooperation 
with the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Such steps will 
facilitate Turkmenistan's integration into the global economy. The 
United States supports Turkmenistan's accession to the World Trade 
Organization on commercial terms generally applied to newly acceding 
    Democratization, economic reform and observance of human rights are 
essential to Turkmenistan's future. Rapid, concrete steps toward reform 
in these areas will demonstrate Turkmenistan's intent to abide by 
international norms that will advance the prosperity of the Turkmen 
people. Turkmenistan is committed to strengthening the rule of law and 
political pluralism, including free and fair elections for parliament 
and the presidency in accordance with international standards and the 
constitution of Turkmenistan, as planned for 1999 and 2002, 
respectively. Turkmenistan has invited the OSCE to open an office in 
Ashgabat, and the United States pledges its active support. President 
Clinton welcomed these steps to advance democracy and human rights.
    The United States recognizes the challenges facing Turkmenistan in 
assuring its national security and respects its neutrality. The United 
States encourages Turkmenistan's further integration into emerging 
European security structures, including NATO's Partnership for Peace and 
the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council. The

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Presidents support enhanced security cooperation, which will be explored 
in a bilateral security dialogue to be initiated this summer.
    The two Presidents exchanged opinions on important international 
issues. They discussed the serious threats posed by international 
terrorism, narcotics trafficking, international crime and the 
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. They committed their 
governments to explore ways to expand cooperation in combating these 
threats to regional and global security.

Note: An original was not available for verification of the content of 
this joint statement.