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Turkmen, Iranian Leaders Discuss Relations

President Niyazov (file photo) (AFP) 2 November 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov and Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad discussed bilateral ties during a telephone conversation yesterday, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service reported.

Turkmen state television reports the two leaders talked about ways of developing cooperation in the oil and gas

Niyazov and Ahmadinejad also discussed cooperation among Turkmenistan, Iran, and Russia on developing the resources of the Caspian Sea.

The Caspian is believed to contain the third-largest oil and gas reserves in the world. Caspian littoral states -- Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran -- all claim some of its resources, but have not legally settled their shares.

Niyazov invited Ahmadinejad to visit Turkmenistan, and Ahmadinejad extended a reciprocal invitation to Niyazov. They agreed that mutual visits would further strengthen relations and said dates for their visits should be fixed.