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Turkmenistan Says It Won't Recognize AUCA

ASHGABAT – A spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Ashgabat, William Stevens, says Turkmenistan does not recognize the Bishkek-based American University in Central Asia (AUCA) as an institution of higher learning.

RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service says Stevens also confirmed that Turkmen students studying at AUCA but now in Turkmenistan for summer vacation have been denied official permission to leave Turkmenistan to return to the school.

An American Councils for International Education representative in Ashgabat says the government has taken the decision to block the students because AUCA is a commercial institution not accredited in Turkmenistan.

The U.S. State Department annually provides full scholarships to 10 to 15 students in Turkmenistan for a four-year course of study at AUCA.