Books on Turkmenistan
Update No: 296 - (26/08/05)
Turkmenistan is a pariah nation, as anyone who knows anything
about it will realise. It has an absurd and tyrannical dictator in charge of it,
President Sapamurat Niyazov. Once somebody is isolated, they are diplomatically
worth courting - for then they will really appreciate one's support.
Niyazov and new British envoy discuss relations
This seems to be the latest idea of the UK Foreign Office, which was previously
cosying up to the adjacent tyranny in Uzbekistan, sacking its forthright
ambassador, Craig Murray, for telling the truth too openly. Not for nothing are
FO types proud of being diplomatic.
The Turkmen President recently received the credentials of the new Ambassador of
the United Kingdom, Peter Roderick Butcher, Turkmenistan.ru quoted the Turkmen
news service (TDH) as saying. One can be sure that he was chosen for his powers
During the meeting, both sides discussed a wide range of issues related to
various aspects of overall Turkmen-British relations and prospects for their
further development. In this context, the sides stressed the importance of
joining efforts in ensuring security and sustainable peace, in combating
terrorism and drugs that are posing threats to the entire world community.
Special attention was paid to issues of economic cooperation. The interlocutors
noted with satisfaction the high level of bilateral relations and highly rated
the work of such large British companies as Burren Energy and Dragon Oil, who
are heavily investing in Turkmen onshore and offshore Caspian oil resources.
That is the rub.
Turkmenistan and China strengthen cooperation
The British are not overly squeamish about the Turkmen regime. Nor, of course,
in the slightest degree are the Chinese. An official Chinese delegation led by
Chinese Vice-Premier Wu Yi wrapped up its two-day visit to Turkmenistan on July
20th, New Europe reported.
The meeting between the two sides was fruitful and confirmed the friendly and
promising nature of the bilateral relations, Wu said after meeting Turkmen
President Saparmurat Niyazov. "Regardless of changes in the international
climate, we regard Turkmenistan as a friendly state and a reliable partner,
headed by the leader who is not only a politician-strategist but also an
economist," Wu said. "We had very fruitful talks and look forward to
their continuation next year during President Saparmurat Niyazov's visit to our
For his part, Niyazov underlined the good dynamics of economic partnership
between the two countries. The Turkmen leader stressed that the Chinese side
provide a lot of help in such spheres as the repair of old oil wells in the
country's western region, establishment of new textile productions, and
cooperation in transportation and communication. "We have pragmatic and
mutually beneficial cooperation. This cooperation is free of any political or
other motives and, thus, it has a great future," Niyazov said.
While commenting on the business nature of the Chinese delegation's visit,
Niyazov urged the heads of state and private enterprises in the delegation of
the PRC to cooperate with their Turkmen colleagues in order to direct the
partnership to a new level. China will give a 200m yuan soft loan to
Turkmenistan (24m Euro) under an intergovernmental agreement signed in Ashgabat.
US general in town
Even the US is becoming interested in Turkmenistan as a possible partner. A
top U.S. general says that he has assured Turkmenistan's President Saparmurat
Niyazov that the American military is in the Central Asian region to help bring
stability to Afghanistan.
General John Abizaid, chief of the U.S. Central Command, told reporters after
meeting with Niyazov in Ashgabat on 23rd August that the United States is not
seeking to confront any other countries in the Central Asian region.
Uzbekistan's government recently asked U.S. forces to leave a base in Uzbekistan
within six months, while Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have come under pressure from
Russia and China to demand that the U.S. set a date for a troop withdrawal from
The U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat said Abizaid also held talks with Turkmenistan's
defence minister and the border-service commander.
Turkmenistan to hold international scientific forum
An international exhibition and a scientific conference dedicated to the
14th anniversary of the country's independence and the 10th anniversary of the
state health programme "Saglyk" (Health) will be held in the Turkmen
capital from October 17th-19th 2005, Turkmenistan.ru reported recently.
President Niyazov has issued a resolution to this effect.
According to the document, these events aim at "promoting greater
international community awareness of the successes achieved in the field of
national healthcare and medical science, the expansion of cooperation and a
sharing experience in this direction."
Turkmenistan eyes Ruhabat industrial development
President Niyazov takes a personal interest in projects involving foreign
firms. He discussed prospects for the development of the industrial sector being
formed in Ruhabat district at a recent meeting with members of the cabinet of
ministers, with authorities from Ahal region, with officials from a number of
ministries and organisations, and with managers of some foreign construction
companies operating in the country and the district in particular, New Europe
It has a multipurpose structure, consisting of enterprises of a number of
different branches of the economy. Plants on the production of facing materials
from marble and on production of velvet will complement this infrastructure in
Construction of a polyester pipes plant has entered the final stage. It will be
in full use shortly; its production line will start operating by the end of this
year, one month ahead of schedule.
Meanwhile, Niyazov made a number of serious claims on this company, demanding it
to eliminate defects committed during the implementation of several projects.
While commenting on the issue of landscaping and planting trees and gardens,
Niyazov reminded the participants that two million more saplings should be
planted in the suburbs of Ashgabat in the coming season within the framework of
the programme "Gok Gushak" (Green zone).
The issue of the vital cotton harvest campaign was discussed. Good yields are
expected practically in all regions, Niyazov said, adding the announcement of
the start of construction of a new ginnery which is to be commissioned in one
Ruhabat has become one of the industrial centres of the region supplying its
production not only to different regions of Turkmenistan but also to the world
market. Its agricultural sector is also successfully developing. Besides,
investments have been channelled into this sector.
The company Gap Inshaat, is handling the construction of the largest children's
amusement park in the capital, Ashgabat, "which is to be a Turkmen version
of the famous Disneyland. The project, worth US$50m, is underway in Ashgabat.
The Turkmen Ministry of Education has ordered it to be called "the World of
Turkmen Fairytales," not a bad term for the ideology of the regime itself.
The project is financed at the expense of the state reserve fund. The
construction of the park is to be completed in one year.
Turkmen grain growers report record grain harvest
Three million tonnes of grain was brought to Turkmenistan's grain bins, a record
harvest for the former Soviet republic, the national institute of state
statistics and information reported recently.
Grain growers are yet to harvest 100,000 tonnes to fulfil the task for this year
set by the Turkmen President, Sapamurat Niyazov.
Commenting on the success made by the Turkmen grain growers, the state news
agency (TDH) noted that Turkmenistan has met its grain needs for the sixth year
on end. "It is for the fifth time that grain harvest exceeds two million
tonnes in Turkmenistan," the agency said. "It means the country has
secured a sufficient reserve of grain which will make it possible for
Turkmenistan to export grain to the world markets in the coming years," it
Turkmenistan to purchase 1,000 Belarus tractors
Turkmenobahyzmat association for agricultural services has signed a contract
with Belarus Minsk tractor plant for the purchase of 500 units of Belarus 1221
tractors and 500 units of "Belarus 80X" tractors totalling US$13,125m
and US$5,540m, Turkmenistan.ru reported recently.
Turkmenobahyzmat also signed a contract with Belarus Minsk tractor gear plant
for the purchase of 500 units of "PLN 4-35 P-2 T" ploughs amounting to
US$755,000. A consignment of Belarus tractors and ploughs will arrive in
Turkmenistan by December 31, 2005.
Turkmenhowayollary gets one more Boeing
US aircraft manufacturer Boeing supplied a new airliner for 120 passengers to
Turkmenistan, New Europe reported recnelty.
This is the sixth such aircraft which has arrived at the Ashgabat airport from
the building plant in Long Beach, California. There are now 14 Boeing aircrafts
of this type in the air fleet of State national service Turkmenhowayollary
(Turkmen air lines). The medium range aircrafts of this modification have been
produced since 1999 meeting all international standards. They are fitted with
the same equipment as the Boeing 777. They are equipped with Rolls Royce - BMW
engines. They can cruise at 800 km/hr and make non-stop flights up to 2800
kilometres. Boeings-717s are mostly used for domestic destinations in
Turkmenistan but they can also be pressed into service for regional
Turkmenistan produces more oil and gas in H1
Turkmenistan produced 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas and 4.8 million
tonnes of oil in the first half of the year, according the national institute of
state statistics and information. Gas output rose 3.4 per cent, oil output
increased 1 per cent year-on-year, Turkmenistan.ru reported.
According to the ministry of oil and gas industry and mineral resources, the
lagging behind in the output of gas that continued since the start of the year
was overcome in June. According to the data, 23.9 billion cubic metres of gas
were exported, up 2.5 per cent on the same period of 2004. At present, Ukraine,
Russia and Iran are the main consumers of Turkmen natural gas. Turkmenistan
sells gas to these countries at a uniform price of US$44 per 1000 cubic metres.
Ashgabat and Tehran to strengthen relations
Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinezhad sent a letter to his Turkmen counterpart
Saparmurat Niyazov expressing gratitude for congratulations on his election as
the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Turkmenistan.ru reported
recently, citing the press service of the Turkmen leader.
"The fraternal and friendly relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran
and Turkmenistan are exemplary in the region," Ahmadinezhad said. "I
am confident that bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas will be
further expanded and developed." He stressed that strengthening of the
Iranian-Turkmen relations will benefit both countries.
Turkmenistan H1 foreign trade surplus rises 47.5%
Turkmenistan's foreign trade surplus grew 47.5 per cent year-on-year to 854.3m
Euro in the first half of the year, the national state statistics and
information institute told Interfax News Agency reported recently.
Exports grew 24.4 per cent year-on-year to 2.514bn Euro and imports rose 15.1
per cent to 1.657bn Euro. Turkmenistan's foreign trade turnover grew 20 per cent
year-on-year to 4.174bn Euro in the first half. Russia accounted for 13.6 per
cent of imports, or 226.5m Euro, Ukraine for 12.4 per cent, or 205.9m Euro and
the United States for 10.6 per cent or 175.2m Euro.