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Cablegate: Turkmenistan: Media Highlight Visit by U.S. Coordinator

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RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHBI RUEHCI RUEHDF RUEHIK RUEHLH RUEHLN RUEHLZ
RUEHPW RUEHROV RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHAH #0162 0321523
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 011523Z FEB 08
FM AMEMBASSY ASHGABAT
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0183
INFO RUCNCIS/CIS COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE
RUCNCLS/ALL SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA COLLECTIVE
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHDC
RUEHVEN/USMISSION USOSCE 2163
RHMFIUU/CDR USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHDC
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHDC
RUEKJCS/SECDEF WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS ASHGABAT 000162

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN, SCA/PPD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL EAID ECON EPET KPAO OIIP RS TX
SUBJECT: TURKMENISTAN: MEDIA HIGHLIGHT VISIT BY U.S. COORDINATOR
FOR EURASIAN ENERGY DIPLOMACY


1. (U) SUMMARY: Turkmenistan's state media highlighted U.S.
Coordinator for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy Steven Mann's January 29
visit to Turkmenistan. Mann's meeting with Turkmenistan's President
Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov received wide state media coverage. Some
international media sources characterized the visit as a push for
the Trans-Caspian Pipeline (TCP), which would bypass Russia en route
to Europe. END SUMMARY.

STATE MEDIA INTRODUCE MANN'S VISIT

2. (U) On January 28, the "Watan" TV news program (Turkmen)
announced Mann's upcoming arrival in Turkmenistan, giving accurate
details of his planned meetings in the country. Similar reports on
the following day appeared on the front pages of the state-run
dailies "Neytralniy Turkmenistan" (Russian, circ. 43,091) and
"Turkmenistan" (Turkmen, circ. 29,091).

MEDIA HIGHLIGHT MANN'S MEETING WITH TURKMEN LEADER

3. (U) The January 29 "Watan" TV news program highlighted Mann's
meeting with President Berdimuhamedov, emphasizing cooperation in
the fuel and energy sectors. Mann noted the high interest of
leading American companies in establishing close business ties with
Turkmenistan. The broadcast reported that President
Berdimuhammedov, congratulated Mann on his new position and
expressed satisfaction with the pace of development in the ongoing
Turkmen-American dialogue.

INTERNATIONAL MEDIA CHARACTERIZE VISIT AS ANTI-RUSSIAN

4. (U) On January 29, New York-based EurasiaNet.org,"
The Russian publication "Vremya Novostey," and Russian website
"NefteGaz.ru" published similar reports that the new Coordinator for
Eurasian Energy Diplomacy is the centerpiece of the State
Department's efforts to resist Russia's advance into the Caspian Sea
Basin. According to these reports, the purpose of Mann's visit was
to promote the Trans-Caspian Pipeline project and convince President
Berdimuhamedov to allow U.S. companies to explore and develop
Turkmenistan's gas fields.

5. (U) COMMENT: U.S. Coordinator for Eurasian Energy Diplomacy
Steven Mann's visit received generally accurate and wide Turkmen
state-media coverage. Nevertheless, some international news
sources, especially Russian ones, took the zero-sum-game approach
and characterized Mann's visit as an attempt to gain influence over
Turkmenistan and reduce Russia's influence in the Caspian Sea
region. END COMMENT.

HOAGLAND

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
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