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Bush expresses sympathy on death of Turkmenistan president

Bush expresses sympathy on death of Turkmenistan president

President George W. Bush expressed his sympathies on the death of Turkmenistan President Saparmurat Niyazov, the White House said Thursday.
"We convey our condolences to the family of President Niyazov and to the people of Turkmenistan," said Gordon Johndroe, a Bush spokesman. "We look forward to continuing to expand our relations with Turkmenistan, to a bright future for that country and to a government that provides justice and opportunity for its people."
Niyazov died of heart failure Thursday at age 66 after two decades in power.
In Congress, a leading Republican rights activist, Rep. Christopher Smith, said Niyavov's death will give the new leadership of Turkmenistan "the opportunity to ensure the right of their oppressed people to exercise their religious beliefs without hindrance."
Smith told a House International Relations Committee hearing that "religious speech is severely limited" in Turkmenistan, and unregistered religious activity is illegal.


Updated : 2021-10-26 21:09 GMT+08:00