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U.S. Urged To Appoint Ambassador To Turkmenistan

PRAGUE -- The U.S. Commision on International Religious Freedom has recommended that Washington appoint an ambassador to Turkmenistan as soon as possible.

The United States has not had an accredited ambassador in Ashgabat for more than two years.

In its annual report on religious freedom, the commission also has recommended that the U.S. government improve the amount of objective news and information by expanding broadcasts to Turkmenistan by RFE/RL's Turkmen Service.

It also recommended additional programming for the estimated 12 million ethnic Turkmen living in Iran, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Andrew Paul, a U.S. Embassy official in Ashgabat, told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that U.S. Embassy officials and others from Washington regularly discuss human rights issues with the Turkmen government.