Ashgabat invites Uzbek leader to pipeline

Aug. 7, 2009 at 12:35 PM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov invited his counterpart in Uzbekistan to attend the inauguration of a transnational gas pipeline to China.

Berdimuhamedov held a telephone conversation with Uzbek President Islam Karimov on the occasion of the upcoming 18th anniversary of Uzbek independence from the Soviet Union.

Both leaders expressed gratification with the level of trade and other bilateral relations, the Turkmen government said.

The Turkmen leader extended an invitation to his Uzbek counterpart to take part in the inauguration of the Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline, which will cross Uzbek territory.

The Chinese National Petroleum Corp. signed two agreements with Turkmenistan in 2007 to share production and sales for natural gas using the transnational pipeline.

Turkmenistan will deliver around 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to China through the pipeline each year for the next 30 years.

Berdimuhamedov in April ordered the government to "take all measures" to ensure the construction on the pipeline is completed by the end of the year.

The Uzbek leader said the gas pipeline represented a "bright symbol" of bilateral relations enjoyed by the two Central Asian neighbors.

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