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Don’t need any help in protecting borders with Afghanistan: Turkmenistan

AT Monitoring Desk-KABUL: Government of Turkmenistan has categorically told the United States that it doesn’t need any sort of support in protecting its border with the neighboring Afghanistan, an American diplomat said.

Earlier this year, the US military officials said that Turkmenistan had approached the Obama-administration for assistance to help its forces to protect borders with Afghanistan. The recent decision of the Turkmen government means that Ashgabat has changed its mind and is able to ensure security at the southern border without seeking help of another country. Or perhaps it is not willing to displease Russia.

In testimony to the Congress in March, the commander of US Central Command Gen. Lloyd Austin said, “The Turkmens recently expressed a desire to acquire U.S. military equipment and technology to address threats to their security along their southern border with Afghanistan. We will do what we can to support those requests.”

According to a report of the Eurasianet.org, in a visit to Ashgabat this week, Deputy Assistant Secretary State Daniel Rosenblum said: “We have seen reports, some in the press and elsewhere, about incidents happening on the border not just recently but going back to last year on the Afghan-Turkmen border. There was one incident that we have heard about in which some Turkmen border guards were killed. We have discussed this with our partners here in Turkmenistan, representatives of the government as well as other international organizations. And the Turkmenistan government has said that it feels they can guarantee the Turkmen border and doesn’t require any additional assistance from outside.”

Last month, Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev made an innocuous statement about “incidents on the border with Tajikistan and Turkmenistan”. Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan responded with an indignant denial. The ministry in a media statement said the Turkmen side expresses its profound concern and bewilderment in relation to this untrue statement by the president of Kazakhstan about the situation on the state border of Turkmenistan.