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Turkmenistan To Open Embassy In Kyrgyzstan

Turkmenistan is planning to open an embassy in Kyrgyzstan soon, part of an effort by Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to decrease his country's isolation.

Kyrgyz Foreign Minister Erlan Abdyldaev told lawmakers on September 15 that diplomat Batyr Niyazliev will be Turkmenistan’s first ambassador to Kyrgyzstan.

Abdyldaev said the embassy in Bishkek would open in the "nearest future" but did not give a date.

Turkmenistan announced its intention to set up an embassy in Kyrgyzstan in July.

The Kyrgyz Embassy in Ashgabat has been functioning since 1994, three years after the Soviet Union collapsed and five Central Asian nations gained independence.

Turkmenistan, long isolated under Berdymukhammedov's predecessor, is the only country in the region that requires citizens of other Central Asian nations to obtain a visa before entering.

Kyrgyz citizens have to travel either to Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan to obtain a Turkmen visa.