October 10, 2008

Kyrgyz President Says Uzbekistan to Increase Natural Gas Supplies

Text of report by privately-owned Kyrgyz news agency 24.kg website

Bishkek, 10 October: "Uzbekistan will find reserves to supply natural gas to Kyrgyzstan without interruption in the first quarter of 2009 in a volume which will be by 150m cubic metres more than in the first quarter of 2008," President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said at the end of a meeting of the presidents of the Central Asian countries [in Bishkek] today.

Bakiyev said that the main subject of the session was cooperation in the region's water and energy spheres. He noted that "the presidents of the Central Asian countries have once again demonstrated their desire and ability to jointly resolve the emerging problems". This is how he assessed the talks which were held between Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan), Islom Karimov (Uzbekistan), Emomali Rahmon (Tajikistan) and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow (Turkmenistan).

At the end of the unscheduled session [of the Central Asian state leaders], the Kyrgyz president made a statement to the press on behalf of all the presidents of the Central Asian states. He said that "specific decisions have been adopted". In addition to an agreement on natural gas, Kyrgyzstan reached an agreement on importing coal from Kazakhstan as much as it needs. Agreements between the two countries' governments on natural gas and coal supplies will be signed by the countries' experts within the next two weeks. The presidents' decision is aimed at maintaining the level of water in Kyrgyzstan's [Toktogul] reservoir so that neighbouring countries' demand for irrigation water will be satisfied in an irrigation period.

Originally published by 24.kg website, Bishkek, in Russian 1301 10 Oct 08.

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