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Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
07ASHGABAT236
2007-02-26 13:26:00
UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY
Embassy Ashgabat
Cable title:  

IN TURKMENISTAN TOP SECURITY FIGURES RE-CONFIRMED; NEW

Tags:   PGOV  PREL  SOCI  EAID  TX  US 
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						UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 ASHGABAT 000236 

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

SIPDIS

STATE FOR SCA/CEN (PERRY), SCA/PPD, EUR/ACE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL SOCI EAID TX US
SUBJECT: IN TURKMENISTAN TOP SECURITY FIGURES RE-CONFIRMED; NEW
JUSTICE MINISTER AND TRANSPORT DEPUTY CHAIRMAN APPOINTED

REFS:

A) Ashgabat 230, B) Ashgabat 226, C) Ashgabat 221,
D) Ashgabat 201, E) Ashgabat 146

Summary
-------



1. (U) Turkmenistan's President Berdimuhammedov has reappointed his
entire inherited "power ministries" team to serve in his own
government, though without reappointing Defense Minister
Mammetgeldiyev to his previous dual role as Secretary of the
National Security Council. The new president also named a
32-year-old to be the new Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of
Ministers for Transport, brought in another fresh face, Mejlis
(Parliament) Human Rights Committee head Myrat Garryev, to be
Turkmenistan's new Justice Minister, and confirmed Akdja
Nurberdiyeva as Mejlis Speaker. The main outstanding question is
how many more Cabinet Deputy Chairmen he may name. END SUMMARY.

The Old Guard is the New Guard


--------------------------





2. (SBU) Over the weekend, President Berdimuhammedov signed a number
of decrees reappointing, as was universally expected, all
Turkmenistan's top security and law-enforcement officials to their
existing jobs:

-- Agageldi Mammetgeldiyev as Minister of Defense;

-- Geldimuhammet Ashyrmuhammedov as Minister of National Security;

-- Bayram Alovov as chairman of the State Border Service, Commander
of Border Troops;

-- Akmammet Rahmanov as Interior Minister;

-- Yagshygeldi Esenov as Chairman of the Supreme Court;

-- Muhammetguly Ogshukov as Prosecutor General.



3. (U) Other security appointments in the latest batch of
presidential decrees:

-- Lieutenant Colonel Muhammetberdi Gulyev, who until recently
served as chairman of the Ahal province department of the Ministry
of National Security, was appointed rector of Turkmenistan's
military academy;

-- Jora Hudayberdiyev was appointed rector of Turkmenistan's police
academy;

-- Atamyrat Gurdov was appointed rector of the Military Institute of
the Ministry of Defense. Earlier, he worked as vice rector, first in
the police academy and then in the military institute.

-- Agamyrat Geldiyev was appointed editor-in-chief of the Esger
(Soldier) newspaper.



4. (SBU) Absent without explanation in this latest list of decrees
was any mention of the overarching position of Secretary of the
National Security Council, encumbered since 2003 by Defense Minister
Mammetgeldiyev. The National Security Council, hitherto
little-publicized, emerged to publicly play a key role in the brief
interval after Niyazov's death. Additionally, the appointments of
the new rectors at the police academy and military insitute depart
from recent practice, in that the ministers no longer will also head
the respective educational institutions related to their line of
work.

Deputy Chairman (Transport) of the Cabinet



--------------------------





5. (U) Another February 23 decree named Gurbannazar Ashyrov new
Deputy Chairman of the Cabinet of Ministers, simultaneously
releasing him from his job as head of the "Turkmendenizderyayellari"

ASHGABAT 00000236 002 OF 003


(State Sea and River Transportation Company), to which he had been
appointed only last week. The 32-year-old Ashyrov thereby vaults
over the much older long-time Transport Minister Orazberdi
Hudayberdiyev, who until now had himself combined his ministerial
post with the Deputy Chairmanship for the sector. Ashyrov studied
mathematics and computer technology, thereafter working in a series
of consultancy/specialist occupations, including in the State
Committee for Emergency (Crisis) Situations and, from 2000-2005, as
head of the Transport and Communications Department of the Cabinet
of Ministers.

New Mejlis Speaker and Committee Heads


--------------------------





6. (U) Other Berdimuhammedov decrees on February 23 selected Akja
Nurberdiyeva as Chairman of the Mejlis, and Kasymkuly Babayev as
Mejlis Deputy Chairman -- the position which Nurberdiyeva had
technically continued to hold since she was elevated to the function
of acting Chairman after the abrupt removal and arrest of former
Speaker Atayev following Niyazov's death on December 21.
Simultaneously published on February 24, over Nurberdiyeva's name,
were five "Resolutions of the Mejlis" naming new heads to the
Mejlis's five standing committees:

-- Dzuma Dzumayev as head of the Committee for Human Rights (i.e.,
replacing new Justice Minister Garryev; see below);

-- Maral Poltayeva as head of the Committee for Economy and Social
Policy;

-- Ahmet Charyev as head of the Committee for Coordination with
Local Government;

-- Ahmukammet Shamuhammedov as head of the Commiteee for
International and InterParliamentary Affairs;

-- Baymyrat Babayev as head of the committee for science, education
and culture.



7. (SBU) Comment: Dzuma Dzumayev, the new head of the Human Rights
Committee, has a record of provocative comments as a committee
member in past meetings on human-rights issues with embassy or
working-level Washington visitors. Conversely, in three recent
substantive meetings with high-level Washington visitors and the
embassy, Chairman Nuberdiyeva has made a distinctively positive
impression of professional competence and energy. Her openness to
suggestions of expanded contacts and joint programs has seemed to
blossom with each of our successive contacts (Refs D, E). End
Comment.

NEW JUSTICE MINISTER: BIO NOTE


--------------------------





8. (U) Together with the law-enforcement ministers,
Berdimuhammedov's latest edicts appointed a new Minister of Justice:
Myrat Garryev, who most recently chaired the Mejlis's Committee on
Human Rights. Garryev was born in 1962 in Mytishchi City of Moscow
Oblast in the Russian Federation. His nationality is Turkmen. In
1979, he graduated from secondary school number 7 in Ashgabat and
entered the Law Department of Turkmen State University named after
Maxim Gorky. He graduated from the University in 1984 with a legal
specialization and began his professional career in 1984 as a senior
laboratory assistant at the Philosophy and Law Institute of the
Academy of Sciences. Later, he worked at this organization as a
junior research officer and a research officer. In 1987-1989, he
participated at the staff development training course at the State
and Law Institute of the Academy of Sciences, Moscow. In 1997-2001,
Garryev worked as senior research officer and chief research officer
at the National Institute of Democracy and Human Rights under the
President of Turkmenistan. He authored 15 academci articles.
Starting in 2001, he worked as Chief of the Sector on Law
Enforcement Bodies at the Cabinet of Ministers and at the
Presidential Apparatus. In the 2003 parliamentary by-elections, he
was elected as a deputy and appointed Head of the Mejlis Legislation
Committee, one of only five standing committees in the Mejlis, which

ASHGABAT 00000236 003 OF 003


was renamed the Committee on Protection of Human Rights and Freedoms
on February 1, 2005. He is married and has three children. Garryev
travelled to the U.S. as part of an OSCE interparliamentary
delegation in summer 2005, spending July 4 in Washington D.C. He
attended the January 31 embassy reception for visiting EUR/ACE
Coordinator Adams, and has been a guest of Charge's at a working
lunch on parliamentary cooperation.

COMMENT


--------------------------





9. (SBU) Now that Berdimuhammedov has reconfirmed across the board
the "power ministries" team already in place, the sole major unknown
is how many more Deputy Chairmen of the Cabinet of Ministers -- with
their notionally overarching powers -- he may appoint. To date, he
has named three: for International Affairs, Oil and Gas, and
Transport. Five other such positions nominally exist on the
Turkmenistan government chart, for: Agriculture; Trade/Commerce and
Textiles; Economy, Finance and Banking; Education, Health, Science
and Culture; and Energy, Industry and Construction. The agriculture
position has been vacant for several years, and Agriculture Minister
Orazgeldiyev was reappointed as minister last week, so perhaps there
will be no change in the status quo. Conversely, a new Deputy Chair
could be appointed in conjunction with the new directions for the
sector that the upcoming March 20 session of the Halk Maslahaty
(National People's Council) is supposed to enact. The Education and
Economy/Finance Deputy Chair slots likewise remain vacant, even
though Ministers have been reappointed. For Energy and Industry,
Berdimuhammedov reappointed Yusup Dawudov as Minister but
discontinued Dawudov's previous dual function as Deputy Chair. He
could still elevate some new figure over Dawudov, analogous to what
occurred with the Deputy Chairmanship for Oil and Gas. Nor has the
new president filled his old slot as Deputy Chairman for Education
and Health. He may feel that unnecessary. End Comment.

BRUSH