U.S. brokering in Caspian's territory dispute

Aug 19, 1999 02:00 AM

A border dispute between Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan must not hinder construction of a gas pipeline across the Caspian Sea, U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson said here.
A dispute over how to divide the Caspian's territory has stalled work on the four-country project to bring Turkmen gas to Western markets, and Washington is trying to broker a settlement. Richardson also raised the gas pipeline project in visits this week to Azerbaijan and Turkey, other stops on his tour to press U.S. aims of bringing Caspian energy resources to international markets.
Richardson told Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov that the countries participating in the gas pipeline project -- Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia -- could speed up the project by offering their full support, which would help ensure financing. After talks, Niyazov and Joseph Grandmeison, the director of the U.S. Agency for Trade and Development, signed an agreement providing Turkmenistan with a $ 150,000 grant for consulting services to draft legal documents for the project.

Source: AP
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