Turkmen leader to meet with Italian PM
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Nov. 24 / Trend H.Hasanov /
As a part of his first official visit to Italy Nov. 24-25, Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov will hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The sides are expected to sign a package of documents, negotiate energy cooperation and hold a business forum.
The two countries are interested in promoting energy cooperation in light of Turkmenistan's enormous hydrocarbon potential and the European community's ever-growing interest in Turkmen gas supplies, a state press service reported.
Italy's leading oil and gas company Eni began to operate in Turkmenistan in 2008 after buying a controlling stake in Burren Energy plc (UK).
Eni has expressed a long-term interest in creating a pipeline to transport gas from the Caspian to Pakistan and India.
"Turkmenistan actively promotes the idea of diversifying its energy routes to world markets, including Europe, as an initiator of a number of large-scale projects to construct transnational gas pipelines, and promising tremendous economic benefits to all member countries," the Altyn Asir national television channel reported today.
Turkmen-Italian diplomatic relations were established in 1992. According to the Turkmen State Statistics Committee, foreign trade turnover between the two countries in the first 10 months of this year amounted to $385.12 million. The Turkmen Economy and Development Ministry said the ministry has registered 12 investment projects with Italian companies.
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