ASHGABAT , Turkmenistan, March 7 (UPI) -- Azerbaijani and Turkmen officials have resolved an energy conflict and will now cooperate on developing Caspian resources, RFE reported.
Representatives reached an agreement following a 16-year debt dispute, bringing hope that plans for a trans-Caspian pipeline will advance. The proposed pipeline would bring Turkmen natural gas to Europe without crossing Russian or Iranian territory.
Under the deal, Turkmenistan will receive $45 million by the end of the year for gas supplies.
The European Union has been lobbying for months trying to get leaders from both nations to reach an agreement. The United States is also supporting the trans-Caspian ambitions, and U.S. State Department special representative Steven Mann was in Turkmenistan earlier this week to address the issue.