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Turkmen President talks up railroad line to China

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov has pledged to move forward in constructing a railroad line from Turkmenistan to China.

Berdymukhammedov, on his first official visit to Kyrgyzstan on August 5, said after talks with Kyrgyz counterpart Almazbek Atambaev that the two discussed energy and security issues that hold “great importance for the whole world.”

“The construction of a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to China via Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan will be implemented in the very near future,” Berdymukhammedov said, without elaborating.

Atambaev said Berdymukhammedov’s two-day visit to Bishkek was “the new phase of the development of ties between the two nations.”

Atambaev also accepted an invitation to visit Ashgabat in 2016.

The two leaders signed 15 documents on mutual cooperation in education, energy, transportation, science, and technology on the first day of Berdymukhammedov’s visit.

On the eve of the Turkmen president’s visit, a Kyrgyz-Turkmen business forum was held in Bishkek on August 4.

Atambaev made his first official visit to Ashgabat as Kyrgyzstan’s leader in November.

Berdymukhammedov’s trip to Bishkek is a rare meeting between the leader of Central Asia’s only democratic country, Kyrgyzstan, and the autocratic head of the region’s most-closed country, Turkmenistan.

Source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

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