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Pipeline, Geopolitics On Agenda As Berdymukhammedov Visits Uzbekistan


Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov (left) is welcomed by Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev in Tashkent on April 23.

Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov is visiting Tashkent, part of a surge in diplomatic activity in Central Asia since the death of longtime Uzbek leader Islam Karimov in 2016.

Berdymukhammedov began a two-day visit to the Uzbek capital on April 23.

He and Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoev discussed economic, political, and cultural ties between the neighboring countries as well as regional and international affairs, Mirziyoev's office said.

Sources close to the Turkmen government told RFE/RL that THE construction of the planned Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) natural-gas pipeline was on the agenda for talks during the visit.

The sources spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.

Economically struggling Turkmenistan hopes the pipeline will be built after years of discussion, proving revenues for the natural gas it produces.

Berdymukhammedov last visited Uzbekistan in September 2016 for the funeral of Karimov, who ruled Uzbekistan with iron fist for more than a quarter century and was often at odds with other Central Asian leaders.

Mirziyoev has said improving ties with Uzbekistan's neighbors is a major priority. He traveled to Turkmenistan in March 2017, in his first official visit abroad as president.

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