Statement by Matthew S. Klimow, Nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Turkmenistan

Matthew S. Klimow, President Trump's nominee to be the next United States Ambassador to Turkmenistan, appeared in front of the US Senate to share his plans in case he is confirmed.

The original text in English is available here.

Klimow emphasized the geopolitical importance of Turkmenistan which it has long borders with Afghanistan and Iran, possesses some of the world's largest natural gas reserves and serves as a bridge between the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the regions beyond.

Potential threats to Turkmenistan are tough neighborhood, porous borders, terrorism, and drug trafficking.

Moreover, according to him, China and Russia exert enormous economic and political pressure on the government in Ashgabat.

If confirmed, Klimow will work to support Turkmenistan's contributions to a stable Afghanistan. Moreover, he believes the US should act as a counterweight and positive alternative to Russia and China's unrelenting push to further their economic and political objectives at the expense of the Turkmen people.

The nominee also said he will also encourage Turkmenistan's increased integration in regional and global markets, which promotes greater stability and creates opportunities for U.S. trade and investment.

Klimow also said he will make every effort to promote diversification of Turkmenistan's gas export markets´┐Żacross the Caspian Sea as well as to South Asia.

Speaking about the constraints, he mentioned concerted attempts to control access to information, including the internet and independent news sources, the use of forced labor in cotton harvesting and undue restrictions on religious practices and promised to address these issues.

I believe progress in those areas is possible through consistent and pragmatic dialogue Klimow said.

Source: Chronicles of Turkmenistan