Analysis: Turkmenistan looks to U.S.
WASHINGTON, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- What a difference nine months makes. Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, nine months ago a relatively unknown Turkmen apparatchik, made his first official visit to the United States, attending the opening of the United Nations' 62nd General Assembly and dazzling the Bush administration with promises of Western access to Turkmen energy resources. Given longstanding Turkmen grievances against Russia underpaying for its most valuable export, against all odds Washington might have staked a tentative claim to the Caspian basin’s last underdeveloped hydrocarbon assets, which Moscow formerly saw as its own. If the negotiations come to fruition, they represent an astonishing turnaround in U.S. fortunes in Ashgabat, which up to now have been marked by a mixture of indifference and ineptitude.
JOHN C.K. DALY, UPI International Correspondent