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Turkmenistan President: We Are Open to the World

Mr Berdymukhammedov's predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov ruled Turkmenistan as a personal fief

Turkmenistan's president declared his country "open to the world" yesterday, as it stepped up its efforts to deepen relations with the west since the death of its autocratic leader last December.

Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov told the UN general assembly that the country's energy strategy was "aimed at developing a multiple pipelines system to bring Turkmen energy resources to the international market on a stable and long-term basis".

Mr Berdymukhammedov's predecessor Saparmurat Niyazov ruled Turkmenistan as a personal fief and barred outsiders from its onshore gas fields, which are believed to hold some of the world's largest reserves.