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Turkmenistan vs. Afghanistan

Introduction

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
BackgroundPresent-day Turkmenistan covers territory that has been at the crossroads of civilizations for centuries. The area was ruled in antiquity by various Persian empires, and was conquered by Alexander the Great, Muslim armies, the Mongols, Turkic warriors, and eventually the Russians. In medieval times, Merv (located in present-day Mary province) was one of the great cities of the Islamic world and an important stop on the Silk Road. Annexed by Russia in the late 1800s, Turkmenistan later figured prominently in the anti-Bolshevik movement in Central Asia. In 1924, Turkmenistan became a Soviet republic; it achieved independence upon the dissolution of the USSR in 1991. Extensive hydrocarbon/natural gas reserves, which have yet to be fully exploited, have begun to transform the country. The Government of Turkmenistan is moving to expand its extraction and delivery projects and has attempted to diversify its gas export routes beyond Russia's pipeline network. In 2010, new gas export pipelines that carry Turkmen gas to China and to northern Iran began operating, effectively ending the Russian monopoly on Turkmen gas exports. In 2016, Russia and Iran halted their purchase of gas from Turkmenistan making China the only buyer of Turkmen gas. President for Life Saparmurat NYYAZOW died in December 2006, and Turkmenistan held its first multi-candidate presidential election in February 2007. Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW, a deputy cabinet chairman under NYYAZOW, emerged as the country's new president. He was reelected in 2012 and again in 2017 with over 97% of the vote in both instances, in elections widely regarded as undemocratic.
Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist countercoup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahidin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Usama BIN LADIN.
A UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan, and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was reelected in August 2009 for a second term. The 2014 presidential election was the country's first to include a runoff, which featured the top two vote-getters from the first round, Abdullah ABDULLAH and Ashraf GHANI. Throughout the summer of 2014, their campaigns disputed the results and traded accusations of fraud, leading to a US-led diplomatic intervention that included a full vote audit as well as political negotiations between the two camps. In September 2014, GHANI and ABDULLAH agreed to form the Government of National Unity, with GHANI inaugurated as president and ABDULLAH elevated to the newly-created position of chief executive officer. The day after the inauguration, the GHANI administration signed the US-Afghan Bilateral Security Agreement and NATO Status of Forces Agreement, which provide the legal basis for the post-2014 international military presence in Afghanistan.
Despite gains toward building a stable central government, the Taliban remains a serious challenge for the Afghan Government in almost every province. The Taliban still considers itself the rightful government of Afghanistan, and it remains a capable and confident insurgent force despite its last two spiritual leaders being killed; it continues to declare that it will pursue a peace deal with Kabul only after foreign military forces depart.

Geography

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
LocationCentral Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Geographic coordinates40 00 N, 60 00 E
33 00 N, 65 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Asia
Areatotal: 488,100 sq km
land: 469,930 sq km
water: 18,170 sq km
total: 652,230 sq km
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly more than three times the size of Georgia; slightly larger than California
almost six times the size of Virginia; slightly smaller than Texas
Land boundariestotal: 4,158 km
border countries (4): Afghanistan 804 km, Iran 1,148 km, Kazakhstan 413 km, Uzbekistan 1,793 km
total: 5,987 km
border countries (6): China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2,670 km, Tajikistan 1,357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km
Coastline0 km (landlocked); note - Turkmenistan borders the Caspian Sea (1,768 km)
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsnone (landlocked)
none (landlocked)
Climatesubtropical desert
arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrainflat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes rising to mountains in the south; low mountains along border with Iran; borders Caspian Sea in west
mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 230 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Vpadina Akchanaya -81 m (Sarygamysh Koli is a lake in northern Turkmenistan with a water level that fluctuates above and below the elevation of Vpadina Akchanaya, the lake has dropped as low as -110 m)
highest point: Gora Ayribaba 3,139 m
mean elevation: 1,884 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Amu Darya 258 m
highest point: Noshak 7,485 m
Natural resourcespetroleum, natural gas, sulfur, salt
natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land
Land useagricultural land: 72%
arable land 4.1%; permanent crops 0.1%; permanent pasture 67.8%
forest: 8.8%
other: 19.2% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 58.1%
arable land 11.9%; permanent crops 0.2%; permanent pasture 46%
forest: 2.1%
other: 39.8% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land19,950 sq km (2012)
32,080 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsNA
damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts
Environment - current issuescontamination of soil and groundwater with agricultural chemicals, pesticides; salination, water logging of soil due to poor irrigation methods; Caspian Sea pollution; diversion of a large share of the flow of the Amu Darya into irrigation contributes to that river's inability to replenish the Aral Sea; desertification
limited natural freshwater resources; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil degradation; overgrazing; deforestation (much of the remaining forests are being cut down for fuel and building materials); desertification; air and water pollution
Environment - international agreementsparty to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection
signed, but not ratified: Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Life Conservation
Geography - notelandlocked; the western and central low-lying desolate portions of the country make up the great Garagum (Kara-Kum) desert, which occupies over 80% of the country; eastern part is plateau
landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)
Population distributionthe most densly populated areas are the southern, eastern, and northeastern oases; approximately 50% of the population lives in and around the capital of Ashgabat
populations tend to cluster in the foothills and periphery of the rugged Hindu Kush range; smaller groups are found in many of the country's interior valleys; in general, the east is more densely settled while the south is sparsely populated

Demographics

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Population5,291,317 (July 2016 est.)
33,332,025 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 25.95% (male 695,752/female 677,166)
15-24 years: 19.04% (male 506,856/female 500,647)
25-54 years: 42.86% (male 1,125,058/female 1,142,870)
55-64 years: 7.59% (male 189,464/female 212,330)
65 years and over: 4.56% (male 105,140/female 136,034) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 41.03% (male 6,947,939/female 6,728,983)
15-24 years: 22.49% (male 3,816,369/female 3,678,657)
25-54 years: 30.01% (male 5,095,905/female 4,907,019)
55-64 years: 3.9% (male 640,813/female 660,121)
65 years and over: 2.57% (male 396,124/female 460,095) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 27.5 years
male: 27 years
female: 28 years (2016 est.)
total: 18.6 years
male: 18.5 years
female: 18.6 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate1.13% (2016 est.)
2.34% (2016 est.)
Birth rate19.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
38.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate6.1 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
13.7 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-1.8 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-1.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.01 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.98 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.89 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.77 male(s)/female
total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.03 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 1.04 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.97 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female
total population: 1.03 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 35.5 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 42.7 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 28.1 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 112.8 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 120.3 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 105 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 70.1 years
male: 67.1 years
female: 73.3 years (2016 est.)
total population: 51.3 years
male: 49.9 years
female: 52.7 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate2.08 children born/woman (2016 est.)
5.22 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rateNA
0.04% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Turkmen(s)
adjective: Turkmen
noun: Afghan(s)
adjective: Afghan
Ethnic groupsTurkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6% (2003)
Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, other (includes smaller numbers of Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, Pashai, and Kyrghyz)
note: current statistical data on the sensitive subject of ethnicity in Afghanistan are not available, and ethnicity data from small samples of respondents to opinion polls are not a reliable alternative; Afghanistan's 2004 constitution recognizes 14 ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Baloch, Turkmen, Nuristani, Pamiri, Arab, Gujar, Brahui, Qizilbash, Aimaq, and Pashai (2015)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDSNA
6,900 (2015 est.)
ReligionsMuslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Muslim 99.7% (Sunni 84.7 - 89.7%, Shia 10 - 15%), other 0.3% (2009 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deathsNA
300 (2015 est.)
LanguagesTurkmen (official) 72%, Russian 12%, Uzbek 9%, other 7%
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism, but Dari functions as the lingua franca
note: the Turkic languages Uzbek and Turkmen, as well as Balochi, Pashai, Nuristani, and Pamiri are the third official languages in areas where the majority speaks them
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 38.2%
male: 52%
female: 24.2% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 11 years
male: 11 years
female: 11 years (2014)
total: 11 years
male: 13 years
female: 8 years (2014)
Education expenditures3% of GDP (2012)
3.4% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 50% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 1.94% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 26.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: 3.96% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 89.1% of population
rural: 53.7% of population
total: 71.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 10.9% of population
rural: 46.3% of population
total: 28.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 78.2% of population
rural: 47% of population
total: 55.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 21.8% of population
rural: 53% of population
total: 44.7% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 98.2% of population
total: 99.1% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 1.8% of population
total: 0.9% of population (2012 est.)
improved:
urban: 45.1% of population
rural: 27% of population
total: 31.9% of population
unimproved:
urban: 54.9% of population
rural: 73% of population
total: 68.1% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationASHGABAT (capital) 746,000 (2015)
KABUL (capital) 4.635 million (2015)
Maternal mortality rate42 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
396 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Health expenditures2.1% of GDP (2014)
8.2% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density2.29 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
0.3 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density4 beds/1,000 population (2012)
0.5 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate18.8% (2014)
2.4% (2014)
Mother's mean age at first birth24.6 years (2006 est.)
19.9 years
note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2015 est.)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 47.9
youth dependency ratio: 41.7
elderly dependency ratio: 6.1
potential support ratio: 16.3 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 87
youth dependency ratio: 82.3
elderly dependency ratio: 4.6
potential support ratio: 21.7 (2015 est.)

Government

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Country name"conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Turkmenistan
local long form: none
local short form: Turkmenistan
former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic
etymology: the suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country,"" so Turkmenistan literally means the ""Land of the Turkmen [people]""
"
"conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan
local short form: Afghanistan
former: Republic of Afghanistan
etymology: the name ""Afghan"" originally referred to the Pashtun people (today it is understood to include all the country's ethnic groups), while the suffix ""-stan"" means ""place of"" or ""country""; so Afghanistan literally means the ""Land of the Afghans""
"
Government typepresidential republic; authoritarian
presidential Islamic republic
Capitalname: Ashgabat (Ashkhabad)
geographic coordinates: 37 57 N, 58 23 E
time difference: UTC+5 (10 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Kabul
geographic coordinates: 34 31 N, 69 11 E
time difference: UTC+4.5 (9.5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions5 provinces (welayatlar, singular - welayat) and 1 independent city*: Ahal Welayaty (Anew), Ashgabat*, Balkan Welayaty (Balkanabat), Dashoguz Welayaty, Lebap Welayaty (Turkmenabat), Mary Welayaty
note: administrative divisions have the same names as their administrative centers (exceptions have the administrative center name following in parentheses)
34 provinces (welayat, singular - welayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daykundi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktika, Paktiya, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pul, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul
Independence27 October 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
National holidayIndependence Day, 27 October (1991)
Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
Constitutionhistory: adopted 18 May 1992
amendments: proposed by the National Assembly; passage requires two-thirds majority vote of the total Assembly membership or absolute majority approval in a referendum; amended several times, last in 2008; note - in mid-2014, the president established a Constitutional Commission to initiate a process for developing constitutional reforms (2017)
history: several previous; latest drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004, signed 16 January 2004, ratified 26 January 2004
amendments: proposed by a commission formed by presidential decree followed by the convention of a Grand Council (Loya Jirga) decreed by the president; passage requires at least two-thirds majority vote of the Loya Jirga membership and endorsement by the president (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system with Islamic law influences
mixed legal system of civil, customary, and Islamic law
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 14 February 2007)
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers appointed by the president
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 7-year term (no term limits); election last held on 12 February 2017 (next to be held in February 2024)
election results: Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW reelected president; percent of vote - Gurbanguly BERDIMUHAMEDOW 97.7%, other candidates 2.3%
chief of state: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014); note - the president is both chief of state and head of government
head of government: President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai (since 29 September 2014 ); CEO Abdullah ABDULLAH (since 29 September 2014); First Vice President Abdul Rashid DOSTAM (since 29 September 2014 ); Second Vice President Sarwar DANESH (since 29 September 2014)
cabinet: Cabinet consists of 26 ministers appointed by the president, approved by the National Assembly
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held in 2 rounds on 5 April and 14 June 2014 (next to be held in 2019)
election results: percent of vote in first round - Abdullah ABDULLAH (National Coalition of Afghanistan) 45%, Ashraf GHANI (independent) 31.6%, Zalmai RASSOUL 11.4%, other 12%; percent of vote in second round - Ashraf GHANI 56.4%, Abdullah ABDULLAH 43.6%
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral National Assembly or Mejlis (125 seats; members directly elected from single-seat constituencies by absolute majority vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 15 December 2013 (next to be held in December 2018), although interim elections are held on an ad hoc basis to fill vacant sets
election results: percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Democratic Party 47, Organization of Trade and Unions of Turkmenistan 33, Women's Union of Turkmenistan 16, Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs 14, Magtymguly Youth Organization 8, independents 7; note - all of these parties support President BERDIMUHAMIDOW
description: bicameral National Assembly consists of the Meshrano Jirga or House of Elders (102 seats; 34 members indirectly elected by district councils to serve 3-year terms, 34 indirectly elected by provincial councils to serve 4-year terms, and 34 nominated by the president of which 17 must be women, 2 must represent the disabled, and 2 must be Kuchi nomads; members serve 5-year terms) and the Wolesi Jirga or House of People (249 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote to serve 5-year terms)
note: the constitution allows the government to convene a constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Council) on issues of independence, national sovereignty, and territorial integrity; it can amend the provisions of the constitution and prosecute the president; it consists of members of the National Assembly and chairpersons of the provincial and district councils; no constitutional Loya Jirga has ever been held, and district councils have never been elected; the president appointed 34 members of the Meshrano Jirga that the district councils should have indirectly elected
elections: the Wolesi Jirga’s five-year term expired in 2015, but the president extended its term by decree until elections can be held
election results: results by party - NA; seats by party - NA
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Turkmenistan (consists of the court president and 21 associate judges and organized into civil, criminal, and military chambers)
judge selection and term of office: judges appointed by the president for 5-year terms
subordinate courts: High Commercial Court; appellate courts; provincial, district, and city courts; military courts
highest court(s): Supreme Court or Stera Mahkama (consists of the supreme court chief and 8 justices organized into criminal, public security, civil, and commercial divisions or dewans)
judge selection and term of office: court chief and justices appointed by the president with the approval of the Wolesi Jirga; court chief and justices serve single 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Appeals Courts; Primary Courts; Special Courts for issues including narcotics, security, property, family, and juveniles
Political parties and leadersAgrarian Party of Turkmenistan or APT [Ovezmyrat ENERMYRADOV]
Democratic Party of Turkmenistan or DPT [Kasymguly BABAYEW]
Party of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs or PIE [Orazmammet MAMMEDOW]
note: a law authorizing the registration of political parties went into effect in January 2012; unofficial, small opposition movements exist abroad
note - the Ministry of Justice licensed 67 political parties as of September 2015
Political pressure groups and leadersnone
other: religious groups, tribal leaders, ethnically based groups, Taliban
International organization participationADB, CIS (associate member, has not ratified the 1993 CIS charter although it participates in meetings and held the chairmanship of the CIS in 2012), EAPC, EBRD, ECO, FAO, G-77, IBRD, ICAO, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM (observer), ISO (correspondent), ITU, MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO
ADB, CICA, CP, ECO, EITI (candidate country), FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IDB, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, NAM, OIC, OPCW, OSCE (partner), SAARC, SACEP, SCO (dialogue member), UN, UNAMA, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Mered Bairamovich ORAZOW (since 14 February 2001)
chancery: 2207 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 588-1500
FAX: [1] (202) 588-0697
chief of mission: Ambassador Hamdullah MOHIB (since 17 September 2015)
chancery: 2341 Wyoming Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 483-6410
FAX: [1] (202) 483-6488
consulate(s) general: Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Allan MUSTARD (since 20 January 2015)
embassy: No. 9 1984 Street (formerly Pushkin Street), Ashgabat, Turkmenistan 744000
mailing address: 7070 Ashgabat Place, Washington, DC 20521-7070
telephone: [993] (12) 94-00-45
FAX: [993] (12) 94-26-14
chief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Special Charge d'Affaires Hugo Llorens (since December 2016)
embassy: Bibi Mahru, Kabul
mailing address: U.S. Embassy Kabul, APO, AE 09806
telephone: [00 93] 0700 108 001
FAX: [00 93] 0700 108 564
Flag descriptiongreen field with a vertical red stripe near the hoist side, containing five tribal guls (designs used in producing carpets) stacked above two crossed olive branches; five white stars and a white crescent moon appear in the upper corner of the field just to the fly side of the red stripe; the green color and crescent moon represent Islam; the five stars symbolize the regions or welayats of Turkmenistan; the guls reflect the national identity of Turkmenistan where carpet-making has long been a part of traditional nomadic life
note: the flag of Turkmenistan is the most intricate of all national flags
"three equal vertical bands of black (hoist side), red, and green, with the national emblem in white centered on the red band and slightly overlapping the other two bands; the center of the emblem features a mosque with pulpit and flags on either side, below the mosque are numerals for the solar year 1298 (1919 in the Gregorian calendar, the year of Afghan independence from the UK); this central image is circled by a border consisting of sheaves of wheat on the left and right, in the upper-center is an Arabic inscription of the Shahada (Muslim creed) below which are rays of the rising sun over the Takbir (Arabic expression meaning ""God is great""), and at bottom center is a scroll bearing the name Afghanistan; black signifies the past, red is for the blood shed for independence, and green can represent either hope for the future, agricultural prosperity, or Islam
note: Afghanistan had more changes to its national flag in the 20th century - 19 by one count - than any other country; the colors black, red, and green appeared on most of them
"
National anthem"name: ""Garassyz, Bitarap Turkmenistanyn"" (Independent, Neutral, Turkmenistan State Anthem)
lyrics/music: collective/Veli MUKHATOV
note: adopted 1997, lyrics revised in 2008, following the death of President Saparmurat NYYAZOW, to eliminate references to him
"
"name: ""Milli Surood"" (National Anthem)
lyrics/music: Abdul Bari JAHANI/Babrak WASA
note: adopted 2006; the 2004 constitution of the post-Taliban government mandated that a new national anthem should be written containing the phrase ""Allahu Akbar"" (God is Greatest) and mentioning the names of Afghanistan's ethnic groups
"
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)Akhal-Teke horse; national colors: green, white
lion; national colors: red, green, black
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Turkmenistan
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must have been born in - and continuously lived in - Afghanistan
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 5 years

Economy

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Economy - overviewTurkmenistan is largely a desert country with intensive agriculture in irrigated oases and significant natural gas and oil resources. The two largest crops are cotton, most of which is produced for export, and wheat, which is domestically consumed. Although agriculture accounts for roughly 9% of GDP, it continues to employ nearly half of the country's workforce. Hydrocarbon exports (mainly natural gas) make up 25% of Turkmenistan’s GDP, the bulk of which is natural gas going to China. Ashgabat has explored two initiatives to bring gas to new markets: a trans-Caspian pipeline that would carry gas to Europe and the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India gas pipeline. Both face major financing and security hurdles and are unlikely to be completed soon.

Turkmenistan’s autocratic governments under presidents NIYAZOW (1991-2006) and BERDIMUHAMEDOW (since 2007) have made little progress improving the business climate, privatizing state-owned industries, and combatting corruption, limiting economic development outside the energy sector. High energy prices in the mid-2000s allowed the government to undertake extensive development and social spending, including providing heavy utility subsidies.

Low energy prices since mid-2014 are hampering Turkmenistan’s economic growth and reducing government revenues. The government has cut subsidies in several areas, and wage arrears have increased. In January 2014, the Central Bank of Turkmenistan devalued the manat by 19%, and downward pressure on the currency continues. There is a widening spread between the official exchange rate (3.49 TMM per US dollar) and the black market exchange rate (approximately 7 TMM per US dollar). Currency depreciation, corruption, isolationist policies, and limited spending on public services has resulted in a stagnate economy that is nearing crisis. Turkmenistan claims substantial foreign currency reserves, but non-transparent data limit international institutions’ ability to verify this information.
Afghanistan is gradually recovering from decades of conflict. Before 2014, the economy had sustained nearly a decade of strong growth, largely because of international assistance. Since 2014, however, the economy has slowed, in large part because of the withdrawal of nearly 100,000 foreign troops that had artificially inflated the country’s economic growth. Despite improvements in life expectancy, incomes, and literacy since 2001, Afghanistan is extremely poor, landlocked, and highly dependent on foreign aid. Much of the population continues to suffer from shortages of housing, clean water, electricity, medical care, and jobs. Corruption, insecurity, weak governance, lack of infrastructure, and the Afghan Government's difficulty in extending rule of law to all parts of the country pose challenges to future economic growth. Afghanistan's living standards are among the lowest in the world.

The international community remains committed to Afghanistan's development, pledging over $83 billion at ten donors' conferences between 2003 and 2016. In October 2016, the donors at the Brussels conference pledged an additional $3.8 billion in development aid annually from 2017 to 2020. Despite this help, the Government of Afghanistan will need to overcome a number of challenges, including low revenue collection, anemic job creation, high levels of corruption, weak government capacity, and poor public infrastructure.

In 2016 Afghanistan's growth rate was only marginally above that of 2014 and 2015. The drawdown of international security forces that started in 2012 has negatively affected economic growth, as a substantial portion of commerce, especially in the services sector, has catered to the ongoing international troop presence in the country. Afghan President Ashraf GHANI Ahmadzai is dedicated to instituting economic reforms to include improving revenue collection and fighting corruption. However, the reforms will take time to implement and Afghanistan will remain dependent on international donor support over the next several years.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$94.72 billion (2016 est.)
$89.95 billion (2015 est.)
$84.46 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$64.08 billion (2016 est.)
$62.82 billion (2015 est.)
$62.35 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate5.3% (2016 est.)
6.5% (2015 est.)
10.3% (2014 est.)
2% (2016 est.)
0.8% (2015 est.)
1.3% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$17,300 (2016 est.)
$16,700 (2015 est.)
$15,900 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$2,000 (2016 est.)
$2,000 (2015 est.)
$2,000 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 13.2%
industry: 47.7%
services: 39.2% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 22%
industry: 22%
services: 56%
note: data exclude opium production (2015 est.)
Population below poverty line0.2% (2012 est.)
35.8% (2011 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2.6%
highest 10%: 31.7% (1998)
lowest 10%: 3.8%
highest 10%: 24% (2008)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)5.5% (2016 est.)
6.4% (2015 est.)
4.5% (2016 est.)
-1.5% (2015 est.)
Labor force2.305 million (2013 est.)
7.983 million (2013 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 48.2%
industry: 14%
services: 37.8% (2004 est.)
agriculture: 78.6%
industry: 5.7%
services: 15.7% (FY08/09 est.)
Unemployment rate11% (2014 est.)
10.6% (2013)
35% (2008 est.)
40% (2005 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $5.523 billion
expenditures: $5.818 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $1.992 billion
expenditures: $6.636 billion (2016 est.)
Industriesnatural gas, oil, petroleum products, textiles, food processing
small-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Industrial production growth rate-1% (2015 est.)
2.4% (2014 est.)
Agriculture - productscotton, grain, melons; livestock
opium, wheat, fruits, nuts; wool, mutton, sheepskins, lambskins, poppies
Exports$8.756 billion (2016 est.)
$10.38 billion (2015 est.)
$658 million (2014 est.)
$2.679 billion (2013 est.)
note: not including illicit exports or reexports
Exports - commoditiesgas, crude oil, petrochemicals, textiles, cotton fiber
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Exports - partnersChina 68.7%, Turkey 4.9% (2015)
India 43.6%, Pakistan 28.3%, Tajikistan 7.4% (2015)
Imports$7.467 billion (2016 est.)
$8.198 billion (2015 est.)
$7.004 billion (2014 est.)
$12.19 billion (2013 est.)
Imports - commoditiesmachinery and equipment, chemicals, foodstuffs
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Imports - partnersTurkey 25.1%, Russia 12.3%, China 11%, UAE 9.1%, Kazakhstan 5.2%, Germany 4.6%, Iran 4.5% (2015)
Pakistan 39.1%, India 9%, US 8.4%, Turkmenistan 6.3%, China 6.1%, Kazakhstan 6% (2015)
Debt - external$502.8 million (31 December 2016 est.)
$454.7 million (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.28 billion (FY10/11)
$2.7 billion (FY08/09)
Exchange ratesTurkmen manat (TMM) per US dollar -
4.25 (2016 est.)
3.5 (2015 est.)
3.5 (2014 est.)
2.85 (2013 est.)
2.85 (2012 est.)
afghanis (AFA) per US dollar -
61.14 (2016 est.)
61.14 (2015 est.)
61.14 (2014 est.)
57.25 (2013 est.)
46.45 (2010)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
21 December - 20 December
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$10.9 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.62 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.232 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$6.681 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
Current Account Balance-$7.605 billion (2016 est.)
-$5.054 billion (2015 est.)
$1.337 billion (2016 est.)
$564 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$36.57 billion (2016 est.)
$18.4 billion (2016 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$NA
$NA
Stock of domestic credit$28.4 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$13.09 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$-454 million (31 December 2014 est.)
$-767.8 million (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of narrow money$1.326 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.255 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.644 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.192 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Stock of broad money$12.23 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.632 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.945 billion (31 December 2014 est.)
$6.544 billion (31 December 2013 est.)
Taxes and other revenues15.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
10.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-0.8% of GDP (2016 est.)
-25.2% of GDP (2016 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 50%
government consumption: 10.9%
investment in fixed capital: 26.7%
investment in inventories: 0.1%
exports of goods and services: 33.9%
imports of goods and services: -21.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 108.6%
government consumption: 12.8%
investment in fixed capital: 18.2%
investment in inventories: 0%
exports of goods and services: 6.6%
imports of goods and services: -46.2% (2014 est.)
Gross national saving20.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
9.6% of GDP (2015 est.)
-22.1% of GDP (2014 est.)
23.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
23.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
20% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Electricity - production22.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption13 billion kWh (2014 est.)
4.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports3.2 billion kWh (2014 est.)
0 kWh (2013 est.)
Electricity - imports0 kWh (2013 est.)
3.7 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production243,100 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports70,740 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves600 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves7.504 trillion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
49.55 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
Natural gas - production76 billion cu m (2014 est.)
159.6 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - consumption30.2 billion cu m (2014 est.)
159.6 million cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports45.79 billion cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports0 cu m (2014 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity4.275 million kW (2014 est.)
600,000 kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels100% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
35.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
64.4% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2014 est.)
0.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production173,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption145,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
130,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports47,830 bbl/day (2013 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
127,200 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy67 million Mt (2013 est.)
7.4 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
population without electricity: 18,999,254
electrification - total population: 43%
electrification - urban areas: 83%
electrification - rural areas: 32% (2012)

Telecommunications

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 648,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 12 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 110,000
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: less than 1 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 7.842 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 150 (July 2015 est.)
total: 19.709 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 61 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: telecommunications network is gradually improving
domestic: Turkmentelekom, in cooperation with foreign partners, has installed high-speed fiber-optic lines and has upgraded most of the country's telephone exchanges and switching centers with new digital technology; combined fixed-line and mobile teledensity is about 160 per 100 persons; Russia's Mobile Telesystems, the only foreign mobile-cellular service provider in Turkmenistan, had its operating license suspended in December 2010 but was able to resume operations in September 2012; Turkmenistan's first telecommunication satellite was launched in 2015 and is expected to greatly improve connectivity in the country
international: country code - 993; linked by fiber-optic cable and microwave radio relay to other CIS republics and to other countries by leased connections to the Moscow international gateway switch; an exchange in Ashgabat switches international traffic through Turkey via Intelsat; satellite earth stations - 1 Orbita and 1 Intelsat (2015)
general assessment: limited fixed-line telephone service; an increasing number of Afghans utilize mobile-cellular phone networks
domestic: aided by the presence of multiple providers, mobile-cellular telephone service continues to improve rapidly; the Afghan Ministry of Communications and Information claims that more than 90 percent of the population live in areas with access to mobile-cellular services
international: country code - 93; multiple VSAT's provide international and domestic voice and data connectivity (2012)
Internet country code.tm
.af
Internet userstotal: 785,000
percent of population: 15% (July 2015 est.)
total: 2.69 million
percent of population: 8.3% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediabroadcast media is government controlled and censored; 7 state-owned TV and 4 state-owned radio networks; satellite dishes and programming provide an alternative to the state-run media; officials sometimes limit access to satellite TV by removing satellite dishes (2007)
state-owned broadcaster, Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), operates a series of radio and television stations in Kabul and the provinces; an estimated 150 private radio stations, 50 TV stations, and about a dozen international broadcasters are available (2007)

Transportation

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Roadwaystotal: 58,592 km
paved: 47,577 km
unpaved: 11,015 km (2002)
total: 42,150 km
paved: 12,350 km
unpaved: 29,800 km (2006)
Waterways1,300 km (Amu Darya and Kara Kum canal are important inland waterways) (2011)
1,200 km; (chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT) (2011)
Pipelinesgas 7,500 km; oil 1,501 km (2013)
gas 466 km (2013)
Ports and terminalsmajor seaport(s): Caspian Sea - Turkmenbasy
river port(s): Kheyrabad, Shir Khan
Airports26 (2013)
43 (2016)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 21
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 9
1,524 to 2,437 m: 9
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
total: 25
over 3,047 m: 4
2,438 to 3,047 m: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 14
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 5
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
under 914 m: 4 (2013)
total: 18
2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 8
914 to 1,523 m: 4
under 914 m: 5 (2016)
Heliports1 (2013)
9 (2013)

Military

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Military branchesTurkmen Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Navy, Air and Air Defense Forces (2013)
Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF): Afghan National Army (includes Afghan Air Force), Afghan National Police, Afghan Local Police (2016)
Military service age and obligation18-27 years of age for compulsory male military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 20 years of age for voluntary service; males may enroll in military schools from age 15 (2015)
18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2016)

Transnational Issues

TurkmenistanAfghanistan
Disputes - internationalcotton monoculture in Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan creates water-sharing difficulties for Amu Darya river states; field demarcation of the boundaries with Kazakhstan commenced in 2005, but Caspian seabed delimitation remains stalled with Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kazakhstan due to Turkmenistan's indecision over how to allocate the sea's waters and seabed; bilateral talks continue with Azerbaijan on dividing the seabed and contested oilfields in the middle of the Caspian
Afghan, Coalition, and Pakistan military meet periodically to clarify the alignment of the boundary on the ground and on maps and since 2014 have met to discuss collaboration on the Taliban insurgency and counterterrorism efforts; Afghan and Iranian commissioners have discussed boundary monument densification and resurvey; Iran protests Afghanistan's restricting flow of dammed Helmand River tributaries during drought; Pakistan has sent troops across and built fences along some remote tribal areas of its treaty-defined Durand Line border with Afghanistan which serve as bases for foreign terrorists and other illegal activities; Russia remains concerned about the smuggling of poppy derivatives from Afghanistan through Central Asian countries
Illicit drugstransit country for Afghan narcotics bound for Russian and Western European markets; transit point for heroin precursor chemicals bound for Afghanistan
world's largest producer of opium; poppy cultivation increased 7 percent, to a record 211,000 hectares in 2014 from 198,000 hectares in 2013, while eradication dropped sharply; relatively low opium yields due to poor weather kept potential opium production - 6,300 metric tons - below the record set in 2007; the Taliban and other antigovernment groups participate in and profit from the opiate trade, which is a key source of revenue for the Taliban inside Afghanistan; widespread corruption and instability impede counterdrug efforts; most of the heroin consumed in Europe and Eurasia is derived from Afghan opium; Afghanistan is also struggling to respond to a burgeoning domestic opiate addiction problem; vulnerable to drug money laundering through informal financial networks; illicit cultivation of cannabis and regional source of hashish
Refugees and internally displaced personsstateless persons: 5,744 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 59,737 (Pakistan) (2016)
IDPs: 1.553 million (mostly Pashtuns and Kuchis displaced in the south and west due to drought and political instability) (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook