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Turkmenistan To Seek Compromise In Caspian Dispute

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov
ASHGABAT (Reuters) -- Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan, two Caspian states disputing the ownership of several offshore oil and gas fields, may find a compromise solution, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov has said.

Berdymukhamedov had earlier threatened to take ex-Soviet peer Azerbaijan to an international arbitration court over the issue and said Turkmenistan would build a navy in the Caspian.

Turkmenistan has objected, in particular, to the development of Azeri and Chirag gas fields. But on October 1, Berdymukhamedov said he preferred a diplomatic solution.

"Azerbaijan is our good neighbor; we have always been and will remain brothers," Berdymukhamedov told reporters.

"We will continue diplomatic dialogue on this issue which may lead to a compromise."

Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan have long argued about the delimitation of the Caspian Sea, which contains vast oil and gas deposits. The arguments center around whether the Caspian is a sea or an inland lake.