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Calmy-Rey visits Turkmenistan

Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey has started her tour of five Central Asian states by holding talks with Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov.

The discussions in the capital Ashgabat focused on bilateral relations and cooperation concerning energy. She also met Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov.

Switzerland recognised Turkmenistan in 1991 after the break-up of the Soviet Union.

According to the foreign ministry, 14 Swiss companies have established bases in the country, operating in the fields of mechanical engineering and power-plant construction, crude oil processing, the service sector and commerce.

Calmy-Rey will also travel to Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, where she will meet various governmental representatives and also visit development cooperation projects financed by Switzerland.

The Swiss foreign ministry says the region will play a crucial role in the world's energy supply. and agencies