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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Kyrgyz Look to Join Chinese-Turkmen Pipe

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan -- Kyrgyzstan asked Beijing on Wednesday to route a proposed new natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via its territory on its way to China.

China and Turkmenistan agreed in June last year to build the pipeline by 2009 and pump 30 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually through third nations including Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan.

Kyrgyz Prime Minister Almazbek Atambayev, speaking after talks with visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao, said Kyrgyzstan also wanted to take part in the project. "China wants to import gas from Turkmenistan. We asked them to build the gas pipeline through Kyrgyzstan's territory," Atambayev said.

Hu's reaction to the proposal was not immediately clear. He was in Bishkek to attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit and held talks with Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev on Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of his talks with Atambayev, Hu provided little insight into what form of cooperation China was aiming for with Kyrgyzstan.

"My talks with Bakiyev were friendly [Tuesday]. We exchanged opinions on bilateral issues and other international and regional matters that are of interest to both of us," he said.

Turkmenistan and China have not disclosed their preferred route of the pipeline.