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Iran key energy partner, Turkmenistan says

July 26, 2010 at 10:42 AM

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan, July 26 (UPI) -- Iran has a vital place in the development of a secure international energy sector, the president of Turkmenistan said.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said in a weekend statement that his country viewed Iran as a valuable partner for energy security.

"Turkmenistan is seriously committed to the diversification of its energy exports to the international markets, including the Islamic republic of Iran," he was quoted in the semiofficial Far News Agency as saying.

The report added that Ashgabat agreed to increase the volume of Iranian natural gas from 280 billion cubic feet to 490 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year when a new pipeline between the two countries reaches its full capacity.

Iranian and Turkmen leaders in January inaugurated a 19-mile gas pipeline connecting the Dauletabad gas field in Turkmenistan to Iran.

Tehran said Turkmen gas frees Iranian reserves for exports to other countries.

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