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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Turkmens Vow Democratic Change

ALMATY, Kazakhstan -- Turkmenistan, criticized by human rights groups for its slow pace of reform, has promised a European Union delegation that it will bring about more democratic change, state media reported Wednesday.

The state Turkmen Khabarlary news agency said Turkmen officials briefed visiting EU delegates Tuesday on the country's steps to improve human rights.

"Full-scale work is under way in the country aimed at strengthening people's welfare, democratic traditions and creating real guarantees for citizens to fulfill their personal, political, economic, social and other rights," the agency reported.

Despite the government promises, Amnesty International said ahead of this week's talks that widespread and systematic violations of human rights continue and "impunity pervades for police, security services and other government authorities."