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(RFE/RL) June 16, 2006 -- Kazakhstan has officially joined  the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil-pipeline project.

An agreement to that effect was signed today in Almaty by the presidents of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Nursultan Nazarbaev and Ilham Aliyev, respectively.

Nazarbaev said the agreement is a very important event in the history of Kazakh-Azerbaijani relations.

Under the agreement, Kazakh crude oil would be shipped to Baku across the Caspian Sea, then pumped through the 1,770-kilometer-long BTC pipeline to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

A ceremony to mark the official inauguration of the BTC pipeline is scheduled in Turkey for July 13.

(Interfax-Kazakhstan, Turan)
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