From the International Herald Tribune, Fri 1 Sept.
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan announce ratification of border agreement
The Associated Press
Published: August 31, 2006
ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan The foreign ministers of Turkmenistan and
Kazakhstan ratified agreements to define the border between the two
resource-rich ex-Soviet Central Asian states, officials said Thursday.
The documents formalize the border between the two neighbors, more
than a decade after they became independent states following the 1991
Turkmen Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov and his Kazakh counterpart,
Kasymzhomart Tokayev, on Thursday swapped the agreements marking the
426 kilometer (236 mile) border that crosses the eastern shore of the
oil and gas-rich Caspian sea, the government's press service said.
The ministers stressed that the two countries had never had border
disputes, an exception among the five ex-Soviet Central Asian states
often engaged in squabbles and conflicts about their borders.
Tokayev also met with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov to discuss
cooperation in transporting natural gas and oil. Earlier this month,
Niyazov announced that a pipeline designed to deliver Turkmen natural
gas to China would be opened by Jan. 1, 2009. Kazakhstan inaugurated
an oil pipeline to China in December.
Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are the second- and fourth-biggest gas
producers in the former Soviet Union, respectively, and their vast
resources are playing an increasingly important role in regional geopolitics.