27 September 2004
Turkmen, Uzbek Presidents To Meet In NovemberTurkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and Uzbek President Islam Karimov held a telephone conversation on 24 September, turkmenistan.ru reported the same day, citing the presidential press service.
According to the source, "the presidents discussed a wide range of issues of bilateral relations and exchanged views on issues of mutual interest."
The leaders reportedly noted that the people of the two states share common historical roots, have no disputes, and possess a significant potential for further cooperation. In this context, Niyazov and Karimov agreed to set up working groups to prepare documents providing for the further enhancement of economic and cultural cooperation.
During the conversation, Niyazov and Karimov reached an agreement to meet in Bukhara in November to discuss prospects of Turkmen-Uzbek cooperation. (Turkmenistan.ru)
Turkmenistan Signs $4.5 Billion In Construction Contracts In 2004Turkmenistan concluded $4.5 billion in construction contracts with 76 foreign firms from January to July 2004, turkmenistan.ru reported on 22 September.
Turkey led the list, with 27 Turkish firms receiving $1.7 billion in contracts. Ukrainian construction companies received $876 million, French companies $458 million, and German companies $343 million. Other contracts were given to companies from Iran, China, and Russia. (Turkmenistan.ru)
Meeting Of Caspian Working Group PostponedThe 15th session of the working group to discuss the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which was scheduled to take place in Moscow on 30 September, has been postponed until late October, zerkalo.az and eurasianet.org reported on 21 September, citing Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov.
No reason was given for the postponement. After the last session of the working group, which comprises deputy foreign ministers from the five littoral states (Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan), in Astana in June, Iranian representative Mehdi Safari announced that the second Caspian summit will probably not take place in late 2004, as was hoped, but in January 2005. (Zerkalo.az, Eurasianet.org)
100 Young Turkmens Off To Study In TurkeySome 100 young Turkmen citizens left Ashgabat for Ankara on a charter flight of Turkmen Airlines to study in a number of top educational establishments in Turkey, turkmenistan.ru reported on 21 September.
Currently, around 1,000 future specialists study in 120 educational establishments of Turkey, acquiring theoretical and practical knowledge in such fields as agriculture, urban development, tourism, finances, oil and gas, chemical, textile, and construction industries, all-in-all in 30 specialties. (Turkmenistan.ru)
Niyazov Dissatisfied With Agricultural CampaignsQuestions of agricultural development were among the subjects discussed during a regularly scheduled meeting of the republican Cabinet of Ministers chaired by President Niyazov, Interfax reported on 17 September.
The head of state found agricultural campaigns on gathering cotton and sowing winter wheat unsatisfactory. (Interfax)
Rights Activists Accuse Niyazov Of Copyright ViolationThe Moscow-based Turkmenil human rights organization has lodged a complaint with the Kazakh Prosecutor-General's Office that Turkmen President Niyazov and his possible accomplices breached copyright law in writing his book "Rukhnama," eurasianet.org reported on 15 September, citing "Komsomolskaya pravda Kazakhstana" newspaper.
"The human rights activists said the Turkmen president, in his fictional-philosophical book, copied whole pages from British historian Clifford Bosworth's book entitled "Islamic Dynasties -- A chronological and genealogical handbook" published in Moscow in 1971, the report said.
"On almost 17 pages copied by him, Niyazov changed only the words 'Turks' into 'Turkmens,'" the Turkmenil activists said.
The report said Kazakhstan is the third country in which the activists have lodged a complaint, following Russia and Belarus. ("Komsomolskaya pravda Kazakhstana," Eurasianet.org)