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Niyazov, Putin Discuss Caspian Cooperation --> (RFE/RL) 8 November 2005 -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and Russian President Vladimir Putin have discussed bilateral ties during a telephone conversation.

The two leaders talked yesterday about ways of furthering cooperation in the oil and gas sectors.

They also discussed cooperation on developing the resources of the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian is believed to have the third-largest hydrocarbon reserves in the world. The Caspian littoral nations -- Turkmenistan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Azerbaijan -- all claim shares of the sea's resources, but have not legally settled their shares.

Last week, Niyazov had similar talks with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad, when they discussed three-way cooperation between Turkmenistan, Russia, and Iran on developing the Caspian's resources.