A group of 46 Turkmen officials have begun English-language classes in a program sponsored by the U.S. State Department, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reports.
Bradley McGuire, information officer at the U.S. Embassy in Turkmenistan, told RFE/RL on April 8 that the seven-month-long program is one of many the State Department has organized to help law enforcement personnel around the world learn English.
He said a knowledge of English helps law enforcers "to communicate more fluently and efficiently with one another" and improves their access to relevant resources in countries where English is the primary language.
The participants in the program, most of whom have no previous knowledge of English, are from Turkmenistan's Customs Service, Border Service, Interior Ministry, Migration Service, Counternarcotics Agency, and Foreign Affairs Ministry.
The course initially focuses on basic language skills. At a later stage, participants acquire technical vocabulary according to their professional specialization.
More than 70 Turkmen law enforcement personnel have graduated from such English-language programs since their launch in Turkmenistan in 2007.
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov said recently at a meeting in Ashgabat with leaders from the country's education, health care, tourism, and sports spheres that citizens should be able to speak three languages.