Prove They Are Alive!
За демократию и права человека в Туркменистане  For Democracy and Human Rights in Turkmenistan
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25.11.2013, 09:06 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Turkmen, Uzbek Leaders To Meet

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has started a two-day official visit to neighboring Uzbekistan.

Turkmenistan's presidential press service reports that during his visit Berdymukhamedov and his Uzbek counterpart Islam Karimov will discuss bilateral ties, including cooperation in the energy sector, natural gas transportation to China, and the Middle East.

It is also expected that the issue of regional security in Central Asia following the withdrawal of NATO troops from Afghanistan in 2014 will be part of the talks' agenda. and ITAR-TASS

14.11.2013, 16:46 EurasiaNet
Turkmenistan Chooses American Rocket to Launch First Satellite

Turkmenistan has chosen a privately made US rocket to launch its first satellite, an American official has said.

US ambassador to Turkmenistan Robert Patterson told a Turkmen-US business forum on November 12 that the telecoms satellite would travel aboard a Falcon 9 rocket made by California-based SpaceX in late 2014, Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.

French firm Thales Alenia Space is designing the satellite and training specialists from Turkmenistan’s National Space Agency, which was set up up in 2011, RIA Novosti said.

The satellite is expected to provide broadcasting, Internet and telephone communication and video conferencing services. Internet and mobile communications are tightly controlled in the gas-rich authoritarian country.

If the project is successful, Turkmenistan will be the second nation in Central Asia to build and launch its own satellite. Neighboring Kazakhstan launched a Russian-made KazSat satellite in 2006 but lost communications with it in 2008. In 2011, it launched the KazSat-2 satellite, designed by Russia and equipped by France.

As RIA Novosti points out, though this is Turkmenistan’s first satellite, in 2005 it launched a copy of the former president’s soporific spiritual guide, the Rukhnama, into space aboard a Russian rocket.

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07.11.2013, 10:52 Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
Belarus, Turkmenistan To Build Drones

Belarus plans to launch a joint project with Turkmenistan to build aerial drones.

Belarusian President Alyaksandr Lukashenko said Minsk would soon dispatch aviation specialists to Turkmenistan to implement the project. He was talking to journalists on November 4 in Ashgabat after meeting with his Turkmen counterpart, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov.

Lukashenko said Ashgabat needs unmanned aerial vehicles «to monitor its territory, borders, and for drug trafficking.»

Lukashenko also said the academies of science in both countries would sign a program on cooperation that includes 21 joint projects. One project would be to build an agricultural-equipment service center in Turkmenistan.

Based on reporting by BelTA and RIA Novosti

05.11.2013, 06:04 EurasiaNet
Strongman Pumps Iron on Health Day

Turkmenistan’s chief health fanatic led by example on this year’s state-wide Day of Health, state television footage shows, dispelling opposition reports the omnipotent president is suffering health problems.

State-run television showed Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov riding a horse, cycling, playing volleyball and pumping iron on the November 2 holiday, Russia’s Mir TV reported.

As an «avid follower and propagandist of a healthy lifestyle, showing a personal example to [his] fellow citizens, above all, the youth,» the strongman has made physical fitness an object of state policy, state-run TDH news agency said.

The videos come in sharp contrast to reports distributed last month by the exiled opposition that the president, who fell off a horse during an April competition, was suffering from hypertension and required constant medical supervision.

This is not the first time Berdymukhamedov has taken a personal interest in his subjects’ physical doings: In spring he ordered everyone to do calisthenics. In late summer Turkmens were told to follow his lead on a day of cycling, despite temperatures well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.

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