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Ashgabat route launched as Turkmenistan tightens ties with Latvia

Turkmenistan soon plans to open an embassy in Latvia, Turkmen government officials and Latvia’s Ambassador to Turkmenistan Igors Apokins told the press after the official launch of Turkmenistan Airlines’ new Ashgabat-Riga flights Friday, LSM reported.

Transport Ministry Deputy State Secretary Uldis Reimanis, who also heads the Transport Group of the two countries’ bilateral intergovernmental commission, said there will be a task force meeting on road transport agreements and further ideas on cooperation in the development of rail, sea and air transport.

Reimanis also said there was interest among the Turkmen representatives in the study programs at Latvia’s universities and higher education institutes that are open to foreign students, especially the Latvian Maritime Academy.

With the launch of the new weekly flights between Riga and Ashgabat, Latvians and world travelers have an opportunity to vacation by the Caspian Sea, where Turkmenistan has developed new hotel complexes. The port town of Turkmenbashi touts various entertainments and recreations, including boating and scuba diving, with several golf courses planned to open there in the near future.

Later this year Turkmenistan Airlines plans to connect through Riga with a trans-Atlantic flight to Toronto, with the new route being the first stage of this master plan to link to Canada and the rest of North America. The move follows an overall upgrade to its fleet, including this route's new Boeing 737-700 aircraft. However, Canadian authorities have yet to approve the proposed opening of the new route, though Turkmenistan Airlines officials remain hopeful a favorable decision is pending.

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