Turkish foreignminister Erdal Inonu conferred July 9 and 10 in Ashgabad withleaders of Turkmenistan which he described as a "fraternalcountry," Interfax reported. The sides discussed expandingthe already substantial participation of Turkish capital in Turkmenistan´seconomy. Inonu welcomed the recent Ashgabad-Teheran agreementon building a gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Iran as part ofa trilateral deal with Turkey to bring Turkmen gas to internationalmarkets, bypassing the Russian route. Turkmenistan is vitallyinterested in the project in order to consolidate independencefrom Russia and to obtain development funds. At a joint news conferencewith Inonu, Turkmen foreign minister and Deputy Prime MinisterBoris Shikhmuradov regretfully alluded to US opposition to theIranian alternative, but welcomed the recent endorsement of theproject by Germany, Britain, and Austria, Interfax reported.
"Islamic Offensive" Worries Kyrgyz KGB.