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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkmen Energy Chief Fired

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov fired his energy minister, Yusup Davudov, as well as the ministers of construction and the car industry for "failing to cope with the duties assigned to them," a statement on an official Turkmen web site said Friday.

Gurbannur Annaveliyev, the former deputy to Davudov, was appointed energy minister, the statement said.

The dismissals took place during a Cabinet meeting Thursday in the capital, Ashgabat.

Turkmenistan, a largely desert Central Asian state, has the second-largest natural gas reserves in the former Soviet Union. It's being wooed for its energy resources by Russia, the European Union, the United States and Iran.

Ashir Sarybayev was named car industry minister, replacing Ashirgeldy Zamanov, and Shamukhammet Durdylyev took over as construction minister from Ashirgeldy Zamanov, the web site said.

Berdymukhammedov, a former dentist, became president in February after the death in December of the country's president for life, Saparmurat Niyazov.

He gave his new ministers a probation period of six months and said that if he was not satisfied with their work, they would be "relieved of their duties without being offered another job," the web site said.