Vice President returns home after Turkmenistan trip

New Delhi, Dec. 13 (ANI): Vice President Hamid Ansari landed in the national capital after his three-day official visit to Turkmenistan.

During the trip Vice President Ansari attended the celebrations of the 20th anniversary of adoption of the status of ‘Permanent Neutrality’ by Turkmenistan and participated in the ground-breaking ceremony of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project.

The Vice President drew a parallel between the ‘Neutrality of Turkmenistan’ and the ‘Non-Aligned Movement’ (NAM) while addressing the International Neutrality Conference here, and said that India supported the Central Asian country’s neutrality.

He congratulated the people of Turkmenistan on the 20th Anniversary of adoption of the status of ‘Permanent Neutrality’ by the country. He also lauded the bond shared between the two nations.

Vice-President Ansari also held bilateral meeting with Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow and described the nation’s neutrality posture as a key factor for regional peace and security.

He expressed his belief that that the neutrality which has been followed by Turkmenistan was a very significant factor for regional peace and security and that is why India was a supporter of this concept.

On Sunday, he attended the ground-breaking ceremony of the TAPI gas pipeline project along with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Presidents of Afghanistan, Ashraf Ghani, and Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow in Mary.

Leaders of four prominent Asian countries joined hands for the project aimed at creating an economically integrated region stretching from the Bay of Bengal to the Caspian Sea.

India’s association with the TAPI project goes back almost a decade. It began as an Observer country at the 9th Steering Committee Meeting in 2006. In April 2008, India was formally admitted as a member of the Project. Since then, India has been actively participating in all the meetings and has been an active votary of the project.

Before departing for Mary, the Vice President also paid respect before the bust of Mahatma Gadhi, which was unveiled during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Central Asian nation in July earlier this year. (ANI)

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