What’s new in Turkmenistan

by Sekundar on 12/10/2010 · 1 comment

It occurred to me recently I hadn’t seen much in this space lately about Turkmenistan. The focus, from my country, has rightly been on Afghanistan, but as the war rages on there, it is important to keep an eye on the other side of the Amu Darya. Recently, Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov took quite a shellacking in the wikileaked diplomatic cables (nevermind the idiocy that lets RFE/RL study the leaks, but not U.S. government employees). Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan) and Karimov (Uzbekistan) didn’t come off well either, but they seem unlikely to care. Berdymuhamedov though, portrayed as incompetent, intimidated, and tyrannical, may be a bit more vindictive, though. Since taking power in 2006, he has maintained Niyazov’s independence from Russian and American camps, sought to reengage in Caspian negotiations, and moved forward with the trans-Caspian pipeline to Iran, even telling Russia to mind its own business. This latest leak, however, may scuttle attempts to get a more U.S.-favored pipeline across the Caspian. What else could pissing off a provincial Turkmen with a nation do?

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– author of 24 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Sekundar works in national security, and has worked and studied in Central and South Asia.

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{ 1 comment }

Grant December 10, 2010 at 4:57 am

That really depends on both how much his personality dominates the government and how insulted he is by this. Even authoritarian leaders don’t always fly off the handle at insults and they can be swayed by people who stand to benefit from these things.
It is nice to see more on the rest of Central Asia I’ll say.

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