Speaking during the inauguration ceremony, President Khatami called the Friendship dam as manifestation of solidarity and amity between Iran and Turkmenistan and said the two sides enjoy xcellent relations which should be a model of co-existence among all countries in the world.
What goes into operation today is not a simple dam, but it is the manifestation of deeply-rooted ties between the two nations which are now experiencing development and independence, he said.
"To keep pace with development and advancement we should gain more strength to an extent to defend our dignity and not offend others," he said.
Access to technological know-how, science, and administration is vital for such a goal, he said adding that fortunately the Islamic Republic of Iran has taken great strides to this end.
"Since water crisis is among top issues threatening future of jungles, we are satisfied to witness that water is the key to friendship between Iran and Turkmenistan," Khatami said.
As soon as the dam becomes operational, its positive impacts on protection of environment and promotion of agriculture will become obvious, he said.
"There is no doubt that by relying on our national strength and benefiting from our talented youths, we can conduct great projects and attain development," Khatami said.
Out of 85 dams constructed in the country only 13 of them dated back to before Islamic Revolution, he said.
Iran and Turkmenistan can experience the taste of development much better and cheaper if they continue their close cooperation, he said.
The Turkmen president, for his part, expressed satisfaction with inauguration of the dam and hoped to witness all-out expansion of cooperation between the two countries.
At the end of the ceremony, the two presidents signed a communique on the occasion of the commissioning of the dam.
A number of high ranking officials from both sides attended the ceremony.
The dam is located on Iran-Turkmenistan joint border and has been constructed under a joint venture project between the two states, at the cost of 168 million dollars.
The water of the dam will be divided equally between Iran and Turkmenistan.
During his two-day stay in the province, Khatami is scheduled to meet local people of the provincial cities of Bojnourd and Esfarayen.
... Payvand News - 4/12/05 ... --