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Chinese, Turkmen Leaders Discuss 'Ties, Cooperation'

Chinese President Xi Jinping (file photo)

Chinese President Xi Jinping (file photo)

Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with his Turkmen counterpart in Ashgabat as he began his first official trip to Central Asia on September 3.

China's official Xinhua news agency reported that Xi met Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov to discuss "furthering ties and cooperation."

Turkmenistan is currently China's largest foreign supplier of natural gas, providing more than 51 percent of its imports in 2012. The two countries have been connected by a natural gas pipeline since 2009.

Xi will also visit Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia between September 3-13. He is due to participate in the September 5-6 G20 summit in St. Petersburg and the September 13 summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek.

While in Central Asia, Xi is reportedly set to sign agreements on oil, natural gas, transport, and investment.

Based on reporting by Interfax, and Xinhua