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Malaysia to set up mission in Ashgabat

By Thursday December 8th, 2011 No Comments

MALAYSIA will be setting up a resident diplomatic mission in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan’s capital, later this month.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said this was a testament of Malaysia’s commitment and desire to build a stronger relationship with Turkmenistan.

Najib, who welcomed Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on his first official visit to the country, also revealed that the president would consider Petronas’ offer to mount a new gas platform in the Caspian sea.

“The offer is very competitive. This is the manifestation of the technological capabilities that we have developed over the years,” said Najib in a joint press statement yesterday.

In July, Petronas opened the Kiyanly gas treatment plant and onshore gas terminal in Turkemenistan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, about 600km from the capital.

The facilities produce up to 500 million cubic feet per day, although Petronas is working towards producing up to one billion cubic feet per day in the next three to five years.

Petronas, Najib said, would be training more Turkmenistan nationals, either here or in their homeland as part of the national oil corporation’s development of human capital.

The country, he said, was prepared to assist in the development of the oil and gas institute in Turkmenistan, adding that Petronas could train Turkmen to be involved in the running of the oil and gas institute.

It is understood that Turkmenistan is hoping to develop an institute similar to Petronas’ Instep.

“I would like to say that Malaysia stands ready to be your close partner. We will develop our bilateral links in existing and new areas, but we will be your true partner in the development of your country, particularly in the oil and gas field” Najib told Gurbanguly.

Najib hopes that trade between the two countries would increase in future. Currently, the value stands at US$18 million (RM56 million), for the first 10 months of 2011, which Najib acknowledged was “quite small”.

On the cultural front, Najib said since both countries shared religious and cultural similarities, it should organise a cultural day in both Ashgabat and Kuala Lumpur in the future.

Gurbanguly, meanwhile, said that there were great possibilities for effective cooperation via joint projects in energy, telecommunication construction, transportation, oil and gas processing, chemical industry, high technology and tourism.

He praised Petronas for its performance in his country, which he said was outstanding and the country would fully support their activities there.

“We are looking forward to the contribution of Malaysian business in the development of our economy.”

Gurbanguly said that both countries were committed alongside the international communities to fight drug trafficking, organised crime and terrorism.

Earlier, both leaders signed agreements for a joint communique, while Foreign Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and his counterpart signed an agreement of cooperation between their respective ministries.

Source : New Straits Times

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