Chinese, Kyrgyz Leaders Discuss Turkmen Gas Pipeline
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Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almaz Atambaev (left) meets with visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao in Bishkek today (epa)
BISHKEK, August 15, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- The Kyrgyz government wants to have a section of the planned Turkmenistan-China gas pipeline built on Kyrgyz territory, RFE/RL's Kyrgyz Service reports.
Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almaz Atambaev today discussed Bishkek's intention to invest in the pipeline project with visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao.
Atambaev said the pipeline would allow Kyrgyzstan to obtain gas from other exporters than it now does.
"[The Chinese] are saying that they want to transfer Turkmen gas," Atambaev said. "We have asked them to transfer the pipeline through our [country] because then we would not be looking at just a sole gas supplier. Then, both the Uzbek and Turkmen gas would be available to us from both sides."
Currently, Kyrgyzstan imports all of its gas from Uzbekistan.
Hu is in Bishkek ahead of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit on August 16. He also is expected to attend antiterrorism exercises in Russia on August 17 with other heads of SCO states before traveling on to Kazakhstan.
The SCO comprises China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan.
(with agency reports)