U.S. Officials in Ashgabat Spin Human Rights Message as Oil Executives Line Up for Turkmen President
A delegation of U.S. State Department officials and business executives travelled to Turkmenistan this week to launch a comprehensive program of dialogue that is to include human rights discussions as well as talks on energy security. Washington hopes to tap Turkmenistan's vast hydrocarbon riches, as well as gain Ashgabat's assistance in supplying NATO troops in the war in Afghanistan and promoting regional stability. Currently, the U.S. has a "gas-and-go" arrangement with Turkmenistan, landing planes in Ashgabat to refuel en route to Afghanistan with non-lethal freight.
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