Israel to open embassy in Turkmenistan for first time

Israel will open an embassy in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, the Foreign Ministry announced on Wednesday, adding that the decision was a natural step in developing good bilateral relations and reflected a new momentum in ties with Central Asian countries as well. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman informed his Turkmen counterpart Rashid Meredov of Israel's decision and the latter welcomed the announcement. Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and Turkmenistan at the beginning of the 1990s, both countries have contributed to the expansion and deepening of the bilateral relationship. Israel has been active in training Turkmen experts, especially in the fields of agriculture and public health, and the Turkmen ministers responsible for those fields have visited Israel and met with their Israeli counterparts. Israeli diplomatic relations have been maintained to date by a non-resident ambassador, based in Jerusalem.