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Turkmenistan sees Japan as an important source of technical know-how and investment, and the enthusiasm is mutual. Our weekly briefing.

Turkmenistans Olympic squad has been led to the Games in Tokyo by the presidents son, Deputy Prime Minister Serdar Berdymukhamedov.

There is nothing about the presumed heirs job profile that makes him a natural candidate for the task, other than that he is increasingly representing Ashgabat on foreign shores.

Sure enough, Berdymukhamedov junior even managed to secure one-on-ones with Emperor Naruhito on July 23 and Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga on July 24. Judging by the Turkmen Foreign Ministry readout, the exchanges were perfunctory in the >>

Going for gold


Ashgabat has great confidence these days in its Europe-bound exports. Plus, a mysterious tragedy on the Afghan border. Our weekly Turkmenistan briefing.

Turkmenistans multibillion Awaza seaside resort does not see a lot of foreign guests, so the flurry anticipated for next month will be a welcome change.

The government website has reported that the presidents of Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan will convene for a three-way summit at the Caspian resort on August 6.

Before that, Central Asian heads of state will meet there for a consultative meeting. This is the third such meeting in this format  the first was held in the Kazakh capital in 2018, and another in Tashkent in 2019.

Moreover, we expect >>

As Taliban arrives at the gates, diplomats and army scramble


Turkmenistan is showing itself happy to work with the Taliban. This and more in our weekly briefing.

It looks like Turkmenistan wanted to keep the second visit they have been paid by the Taliban in the space of five months a secret. The Taliban had other ideas.

The problem is that the two parties in the Taliban-Turkmen consultation wanted different things. The former is eager to show off that it is now an internationally respected interlocutor that can speak for Afghans. The latter is trying and failing to evince cool amid a rapidly deteriorating security situation to the southeast.

Matters on the Afghan border came to a head on July 9, when the Afghan town of Torghundi, which >>

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