ASHGABAT -- George Krol, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary for South and Central Asian affairs, told RFE/RL's Turkmen Service that the energy transit security conference held in Ashgabat on April 24 is an important step in developing a functioning energy market in Central Asia.
Krol emphasized the importance that Washington attaches to the sovereignty of countries involved in both producing and distributing energy to decide how to exploit their resources.
But he added that those countries also have a responsibility to respect contracts and obligations.
Krol said that Richard Morningstar, U.S. special envoy for Eurasian energy, will visit Turkmenistan and other Central Asian countries soon to continue the dialogue begun at the conference, which was attended by official from many major European countries, as well as Russia and China. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso attended by videolink.