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Turkmenistan: Short News Items

Prague, 18 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - The first shipments of china clay were transported today to Uzbekistan and Iran from Turkmenistan. Itar-Tass news agency reports from Ashgabat that this new export is produced by a new plant for clay enrichment in the industrial town of Buzmein (near Ashgabat). The plant was constructed with the help of an Iranian company. Iran also is carrying out the construction of another plant, which will produce sanitary-technical material in which china clay will be used as the main raw material. Turkmen china clay, which is extracted from sandstone, is known for its purity. The world- market price for such clay is usually about 160-dollars per ton.

EU Delegation In Talks About Drug Smuggling

A European Union (EU) delegation arrives in Ashgabat today for talks on combatting drug smuggling. Itar-Tass news agency says the visit is linked to the EU's anti-smuggling campaign for Central Asia. During the week-long visit, EU experts are to consult Turkmenistan's Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Health and other concerned agencies. The United Nations also has an anti-smuggling program for Central Asia.