President of Turkmenistan backed the US project of a trans-Caspian pipeline
On June 25, President Gurbankuly Berdymuhammedov received Evan A. Feigenbaum, Assistant to the US State Secretary for South and Central Asia.
TDH (Turkmen News Service) reports that "Berdymuhammedov and Feigenbaum discussed cooperation in all spheres of partnership including economic and humanitarian contacts." Berdymuhammedov pointed out that advancement of the Turkmen-American cooperation "in the spirit of healthy pragmatism and without undue politics" was in the national interests of Turkmenistan.
ITAR-TASS news agency quoted the head of Turkmenistan as supporting the trans-Caspian pipeline project promoted by the United States. "Turkmenistan with its colossal hydrocarbon resources supports multivariate transportation routes and views the trans-Caspian gas pipeline as one of the alternatives," Berdymuhammedov told the US functionary.
According to the Turkmen Presidential Press Service, Berdymuhammedov suggested a revision of the Turkmen-American relations for the purpose of more efficient partnership mechanisms.
Feigenbaum in his turn said he had come to Ashkhabad "to discuss the direction of development of Turkmenistan bearing in mind its potential and on the basis of the new opportunities of cooperation." "The United States attaches considerable importance to relations with Turkmenistan," the diplomat said. He suggested activization of American-Turkmen business and cultural contacts and contacts between twin towns Ashkhabad and Albuquerque (New Mexico).
Berdymuhammedov suggested an emphasis on contacts between universities and colleges of the two countries. "Turkmenistan needs qualified personnel - economists, lawyers, specialists of the oil and gas complex, architects, engineers... We will be happy to see American professors here," he said.
Presidents of Russia, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan met in mid-May and agreed to have these three countries build a new gas pipeline along the Caspian coast. This project would have allowed for Moscow's control over a substantial part of Central Asian gas reserves. The new president of Turkmenistan in the meantime said that the alternative route lobbied by Washington might be built all the same, and probably others to Iran, China, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan.