Vice-President Ansari to visit Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan

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New Delhi, Apr 2 (UNI) Vice-President Hamid Ansari will be on a six-day visit to Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan beginning April 4 to discuss intensification of cooperation in the hydrocarbon sector and hold further talks with the Turkmen leaders on India's participation in the gas pipeline project.

India has formally expressed interest in joining the gas pipeline project and it participated in the first Joint Working Group (JWG) on Hydrocarbons in Ashgahab in 2006. Turkmenistan has already given its consent for the country's inclusion in the dream project.

This being Mr Ansari's first visit abroad after becoming the Vice-President assumes significance because of India's deep interest to forge strong ties with the Central Asian nations in the energy sector.

Mr Ansari will hold talks in Asgabat with Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, Deputy Chairman Rashid Meredov and senior leaders.

In Almaty, the Vice-President will hold wide-ranging talks with Kazakhstan's President Nursultan Nazarbavey. He will also meet Senate Chairman K Tokayev and address the Senate. He will be conferred Doctorate degree.

The two countries maintain close ties in petroleum and natural gas sector and had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards this effect.

India has also been assisting Kazakhstan in Information Technology sector.

UNI SMA SG HT1848

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