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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ashgabat Cautious on Caspian Pipeline

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan -- Turkmenistan's president told a U.S. envoy that a pipeline under the Caspian Sea is one possibility for exporting Turkmen natural gas, state-run media reported Tuesday, giving what appeared to be only cautious backing to the U.S.-backed proposal.

Gurbanguli Berdymukhamedov made the comments Monday while meeting with Evan Feigenbaum, U.S. deputy assistant secretary of state for South and Central Asia -- the second top U.S. envoy to visit the country in a week. The visits come amid continued jockeying between the United States and Russia for influence in Turkmenistan, which has begun to emerge from years of authoritarian rule by the late Saparmurat Niyazov.

The government newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan said Berdymukhamedov told Feigenbaum that the country wanted to expand its international ties, "without politicizing them, but filling them with healthy pragmatism."