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who_diplomacy_44527.jpg

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 11, 2014 file photo, WHO's Margaret Chan meets with Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. After leading the World Health Organization for the last decade, Dr. Margaret Chan knows all too well how politics infuses actions at nearly every level of the U.N. agency. As WHO member countries prepare to elect her successor on Tuesday, May 23, 2017, the Associated Press reveals eyebrow-raising details from internal documents that show how she appeased dictators in Turkmenistan and North Korea - and told then-Prime Minister Vladimir Putin she'd see to how WHO might hire more Russians. (AP Photo, file)

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turkmenistan_president_27411.jpg

In this Friday, April 7, 2017 photo Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov attends the opening ceremony of a new sports complex at the new tourist zone of Awaza on the Caspian Sea in Turkmenistan. Turkmenistan is hosting the fifth Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games this year. (AP Photo/Alexander Vershinin)

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In this video footage obtained by APTN on Sunday, April 28, the horse carrying a man believed to be Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov falls after crossing the finish line at a horse race during celebrations of Turkmenistan’s renowned desert racehorses in capital Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Berdymukhamedov did not appear to have been seriously injured and appeared before the crowd about a half-hour after the fall. (AP Photo/via APTN)

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Horse race fall.jpg

In this video footage obtained by APTN on Sunday, April 28, the horse carrying a man believed to be Turkmen President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov falls after crossing the finish line at a horse race during celebrations of Turkmenistan’s renowned desert racehorses in capital Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Berdymukhamedov did not appear to have been seriously injured and appeared before the crowd about a half-hour after the fall. (AP Photo/via APTN)

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Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov’s token nod to democracy, in the form of allowing a new political party, most likely is aimed at improving his country’s image abroad, eyeing a boost to foreign investment and trade. But critics say the new political group is unlikely to offer real opposition. (Associated Press)

20120902-183335-pic-601559987.jpg

20120902-183335-pic-601559987.jpg

Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov’s token nod to democracy, in the form of allowing a new political party, most likely is aimed at improving his country’s image abroad, eyeing a boost to foreign investment and trade. But critics say the new political group is unlikely to offer real opposition. (Associated Press)

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WT200710107290041V2_mugshot_four_by_three.jpg

** FILE ** Following the lead of his predecessor, Turkmenistan's new president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, made sure in 2007 that his countrymen knew who he was, with portraits springing up everywhere, such as this one next to a fountain in the capital, Ashgabat. (Joshua Kucera/The Washington Times)

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Turkmenistan President Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov showed up in a Bugatti sports car for the nation's fist-ever auto race in April and recorded the fastest time-trial result. (Associated Press)

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Turkmenistan Presiden_Live.jpg

Residents look Feb. 7, 2012, at a presidential election poster depicting the candidates in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. (Associated Press)

WT200710107290041V2.jpg

WT200710107290041V2.jpg

** FILE ** Following the lead of his predecessor, Turkmenistan's new president, Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, made sure in 2007 that his countrymen knew who he was, with portraits springing up everywhere, such as this one next to a fountain in the capital, Ashgabat. (Joshua Kucera/The Washington Times)