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Turkmens in Gas Talks

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — The Turkmen Foreign Ministry said Wednesday that it supports the European Union's plans to broker negotiations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on speeding up the creation of a trans-Caspian pipeline.

That pipeline would allow Turkmenistan to feed its copious gas reserves into planned European gas routes, but the project has been stiffly opposed on legal grounds by Russia.

Meanwhile, Iranian and Turkmen officials are in talks on bartering natural gas for oil products and will meet in Ashgabat in two weeks, the Iranian Oil Ministry said, citing the head of the National Iranian Gas Export Company. Iran may take delivery of Turkmen natural gas and deliver crude or oil products in exchange, Hossein Bidarmaghz said, according to a ministry web site Wednesday.

(AP, Bloomberg)

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