Sun, January 03, 2010
World > Middle East

Iran's president to visit Central Asia

2010-01-03 14:22:01 GMT2010-01-03 22:22:01 (Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

TEHRAN, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will start a three-day official visit to Turkmenistan and Tajikistan on Monday, the official IRNA news agency reported on Sunday.

Heading a high-ranking political and economic delegation, the president will visit the two Central Asian states at the official invitations of his Turkmen and Tajik counterparts, the report said.

On the first leg of his tour, Ahmadinejad is to inaugurate the second Iran-Turkmenistan gas pipeline, according to the report.

On Tuesday, Iran's Ambassador to Turkmenistan Mohammad-Reza Forqani told the semi-official Mehr News Agency that "The new gas pipeline will increase the volume of gas exported to Iran via Turkmenistan to 14 billion cubic meters annually."

According to local satellite Press TV, the 65-km gas pipeline will pump natural gas from the Dovletabat gas field in southeastern Turkmenistan to Iran.

Turkmenistan announced in July that Ashgabat and Tehran have agreed to significantly expand Turkmen gas exports to Iran, the report said. Iran currently imports around 22 million cubic meters of gas a day from Turkmenistan.

A number of agreements for Iran-Tajikistan trade cooperation are expected to be signed during Ahmadinejad's visit to Tajikistan, the IRNA said.

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