Turkmens, Germans Hold Gas Talks

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan plans to intensify efforts to export its energy resources to Europe, the country's president told a high-level German delegation Monday.

The announcement offers a glimmer of hope to the European Union, which has struggled to win pledges of direct access to the country's gas supplies.

President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov indicated that his government is exploring ways to capitalize on the country's vast hydrocarbon reserves.

"Turkmenistan is an economically developed state with huge hydrocarbon resources. We believe it is now important to step up our foreign economic relations," Berdymukhamedov told German Economics Minister Michael Glos.

Items on the agenda included the EU-sponsored Nabucco pipeline, according to officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.