Turkmen president, Chinese defense minister agree to deepen military cooperation



Turkmen President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and visiting Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Wei Fenghe voiced common willingness on Tuesday to promote bilateral cooperation.

At a meeting with Wei in Ashgabat, Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan attaches great importance to its relations with China, and the two countries have carried out high-level cooperation in the fields of politics, diplomacy, trade, culture, humanitarian and people-to-people exchanges, and established a strategic partnership.

China is one of Turkmenistan's largest trading partners, the president said, adding that there are more than 1,400 Turkmen students studying in China, and students can major in the Chinese language in many Turkmen universities.

Berdimuhamedov expressed the hope that the two militaries will strengthen practical cooperation in equipment technology, personnel training and other fields, and continuously push forward bilateral relations with new development.

For his part, Wei said that under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, China-Turkmenistan relations have achieved leap-forward development and are in their best period in history.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic ties, China stands ready to cement solidarity with Turkmenistan and jointly build an even closer community with a shared future for the two countries, he said.

China firmly supports Turkmenistan's permanent neutral status, firmly supports its pursuit of a development path suited to its national conditions, and firmly opposes external interference in Turkmenistan's internal affairs, Wei said.

In recent years, military-to-military relations between the two countries have been developing steadily and their pragmatic cooperation has been deepening day by day, he noted.

The Chinese military is willing to further expand areas of cooperation with Turkmenistan, enhance the effectiveness of cooperation and strive to elevate military-to-military relations to a higher level, Wei said.

On the same day, Turkmen Defense Minister Begench Gundogdyev held a welcome ceremony for Wei and had formal talks with him.

The two officials exchanged in-depth views on the international and regional security situations as well as the Ukrainian and the Afghan issues, and both agreed that the two militaries will continue strategic communication, conduct personnel training, and strengthen anti-terrorist and equipment technology cooperation.

(Xinhua News Agency)