At an enlarged session of Azerbaijan’s cabinet of ministers yesterday, President Haidar Aliev decried the "pressing" experienced by foreign and Azerbaijani businessmen from state officials who extort bribes and otherwise abuse their powers for personal gain. Citing businessmen’s complaints, Aliev charged that the "epidemic [of corruption] extends to the law-enforcement agencies" and warned those agencies to purge corrupt officials from their own ranks; otherwise, Aliev said, he "will personally purge them." The president will visit the U.S. next week. (International agencies, July 21)
High-Powered U.S. Group to Promote Cooperation with Turkmenistan.