received U.S. and Turkish envoys to discuss a 1,000-mile gas pipeline to Europe that would skirt both Russia and Iran. The diplomats told President Saparmurat Niazov that their governments support a route across the Caspian Sea, through Azerbaijan and Georgia, into Turkey — and will provide direct financial assistance and loan guarantees. Houston-based Enron Corporation is using U.S. government money to do a feasibility study of the $2.4 billion project, which could eventually carry 35 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

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