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British royalty steps into Central Asia energy diplomacy

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Britain’s Prince Andrew stepped into Central Asia energy diplomacy this week, touring the vast former Soviet region and holding top-level talks on gas supplies in remote Turkmenistan.

Western envoys have flocked to Central Asia over past years, hoping to grab a share of its abundant energy reserves – a worrisome trend for Russia which sees the mainly Muslim region as part of its traditional sphere of interest.

Turkmenistan, a long-isolated Caspian nation, has been of particular interest since its new president came to power in 2006 promising to open its doors to foreign investors.

Prince Andrew – who doubles as Britain’s special representative for international trade and investment – sat down for talks with President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov to discuss expanding energy supplies to Europe.

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