The United States established diplomatic relations with Turkmenistan in 1992 after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Turkmenistan occupies a critical geographic juncture, sharing long borders with Afghanistan and Iran, and acts as a transportation, humanitarian, and economic link to Afghanistan and the South Asian subcontinent, advancing regional stability. Turkmenistan is a closed society with an authoritarian political system and centralized economy. Turkmenistan’s energy resources hold the potential to alleviate regional energy bottlenecks, if developed with diverse export routes. Progress toward reforms has been sporadic, and improvements will require significant time, effort, and resources.
The Government of Turkmenistan engages with the United States in many areas, including cooperation in border and regional security programs, educational and cultural exchanges, and English-language training. The government has taken some modest steps forward in human rights reform, although its overall human rights record remains poor.
U.S. foreign assistance objectives include strengthening Turkmenistan’s capacity to manage its international borders and cooperate on regional security issues, encouraging citizens to play a greater role in civil society, increasing access to quality higher education and health, and promoting private sector development and economic reforms. Today the U.S. embassy is in Ashgabat. For more information on our relationship with Turkmenistan, please click here.
Source, United States Department of State, Office of the Historian and Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs.