It’s been over two years since the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks released a trove of once classified US State Department cables. According to the State Department’s former chief spokesman, the WikiLeaks episode had less of an adverse impact than originally feared at the time.
Gen. James N. Mattis, Commander of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), visited Turkmenistan January 11 to meet with Turkmen leaders. It was Gen. Mattis' first trip to Turkmenistan since assuming command last August at CENTOM, which oversees U.S. military activities in the Middle East and Central Asia.
The leaders of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India gathered in Ashgabat in December to sign an agreement for the new TAPI transnational pipeline named for their countries. President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov had spearheaded the effort to revive the long-languishing project that has always foundered on the issue of stability in the war-torn regions through which it must pass.
Among the 250,000 diplomatic cables leaked from the U.S. government and published by WikiLeaks are several from Tashkent. In the initial weeks of the sensational revelations from around the world, which infuriated and embarrassed the U.S.
Azerbaijan is grappling to come to terms with a fresh Internet news scandal. This one doesn’t concern pesky domestic bloggers who tweak government sensitivities. And it is not about media rights. Rather, it covers a topic generally given a wide berth in Baku, even by Azerbaijan’s political opposition -- First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva.
The French construction company Bouygues has dramatically expanded its business in Turkmenistan since President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov assumed power, according to US Embassy cables, obtained by the WikiLeaks website and reviewed by the French newspaper Le Monde.