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Uzbekistan: Prime Minister Visiting Washington

Washington, 25 November 1997 (RFE/RL) - Uzbekistan's Prime Minister Utkur Sultanov is in Washington for two days of meetings with U.S. officials and American business people.

Sultanov met yesterday with U.S. Energy Secretary Federico Pena to discuss the energy export situation for Caspian Sea area oil and gas. Uzbekistan does not front directly on the Caspian, but according to U.S. officials, is interested in exporting some of its natural gas.

An energy official says Pena reviewed proposals for a gas pipeline under the Caspian to send supplies from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to Turkey and suggested Uzbekistan might be able to ship some of its gas through that connection. The official says Sultanov expressed interest in several possible routes.

The Prime Minister was to meet senior State Department and U.S. AID officials as well as talk with business people at the Commerce Department and at the private American-Uzbek Chamber of Commerce.