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Turkmenistan: President Opens Session Of National Council

Turkmenabad, Turkmenistan; 8 August 2002 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov opened a two-day session of the National Council today, telling delegates the country is on "the right path and everything is going well." Niyazov repeated his often-made statement that Turkmenistan has chosen neither a particular Western or Eastern model of development, instead traveling along its own road to development.

Niyazov said for a third straight year the country has occupied first place in the world in terms of leading economic indicators, noting that last year the GDP grew by more than 20 percent and this year the desert country had a record wheat harvest of 2 million tons.

Turkmenistan's economic statistics are not possible to verify independently.

Niyazov said the country's foreign policy is similarly doing well as Turkmenistan enjoys good relations with all its neighbors and has no territorial disputes with anyone.