Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan to cooperate on transport, energy

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov, right, toasts with his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev after their talks in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, Monday, March 6, 2017. The visit to Turkmenistan was the first foreign trip for Mirziyoyev, elected in December to succeed longtime ruler Islam Karimov who died in September. The ex-Soviet nations of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have agreed to cooperate more closely on energy and transport. (AP Photo/Alexander Vershinin)

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan — The ex-Soviet nations of Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have agreed to cooperate more closely on energy and transport.

Turkmenistan's President Gurbanguly Berdymukhamedov hosted his Uzbek counterpart Shavkat Mirziyoyev for Monday's talks. The visit to Turkmenistan was the first foreign trip for Mirziyoyev, elected in December to succeed longtime ruler Islam Karimov who died in September.

Berdymukhamedov said the two nations agreed to cooperate in exporting electricity to Afghanistan and Pakistan. He said that they also could work together to develop trans-Caspian transport routes to South Caucasus and further on to Europe.

The two nations also signed a treaty on strategic cooperation.

Turkmenistan holds the world's fourth-largest natural gas reserves, which are the base of its economy. Uzbekistan, the ex-Soviet central Asia's most populous country, is also rich in natural resources.

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