U.S. welcomes Turkmenistan's energy strategy

By Aynur Jafarova

The U.S. appreciates Turkmenistan's energy strategy and its positive initiatives on global energy security and the development of international cooperation, a State Department official said Saturday, Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary news agency reported.

Daniel Stein has held a meeting in the Turkmen government during which he stressed the US interest in further intensification of the political, economic and cultural dialogue with dynamically developing Turkmenistan, the report said.

The parties placed a special emphasis on the most important aspects of bilateral relations, in particular, the fuel and energy sector.

The growing interest of world business circles, including leading US companies, in the Turkmen market and major projects implemented in the oil and gas industry was stressed during the discussions. It was also noted that Turkmenistan is open for equal and effective cooperation with all foreign partners.

Turkmen Dovlet Khabarlary reported that while implementing its energy strategy, guided by the principles of fuel and energy sector modernization and export route diversification for supplying Turkmen energy resources to world markets, Turkmenistan has gained extensive experience in implementing large-scale projects of regional and international importance, particularly in the gas sector.

The meeting participants expressed confidence in further successful intensifying and expanding mutually beneficial dialogue and developing equal partnership.

President Barack Obama's administration recently reportedly took a political course for rapprochement with Turkmenistan.

The two countries are cooperating in such areas as the supply of agricultural equipment, modernization of the fleet of the Turkmen civil aviation and import of power equipment.

US companies such as Chevron, ExxonMobil, General Electric, Case and others have opened their offices in Turkmenistan. The White House began actively supporting such regional gas pipeline projects from Turkmenistan as the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) and Trans-Caspian via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan to Europe.

The negotiations on the development of hydrocarbon fields in Turkmenistan, which holds the world's fourth biggest natural gas reserves, are underway. Ashgabat invites US companies to the development of the Turkmen Caspian shelf. Chevron, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, Honeywell and others are among the interested companies.

Turkmenistan and the U.S. are also cooperating in international organizations, including the UN, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank (WB). Turkmenistan is a member of the NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, trade turnover between Turkmenistan and the U.S. was $163.5 million in January-November 2012.