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Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkish Leaders to Meet for Gas Talks

A high-level meeting reportedly set to take place later this year in Turkmenistan could put talk of building a natural gas pipeline across the Caspian Sea back on the agenda.

The Associated Press on July 23 cited Turkey’s ambassador to Turkmenistan, Mustafa Kapucu, as saying that the presidents of his country, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan will meet to discuss the issue. The talks pick up from the EU-brokered Ashgabat Declaration of May 2015, which was signed by the energy ministries of the three countries and set down objectives like creating a legal framework for gas sales by Turkmenistan to Europe and “[developing] constructive dialogue” on the required infrastructure.

The fact that heads of state are set to sit around the table presumably suggests all the governments involved envision a transition from preliminary paper-shuffling to some concrete breakthrough, although experience teaches that this may not be the case.

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Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Turkish Leaders to Meet for Gas Talks

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