ASHGABAT - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a proponent of a global gas suppliers' cartel, will visit Central Asia's main gas producer Turkmenistan on Sunday and Monday, Turkmen leader Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov said on Saturday.
The meeting of the two leaders will be a good foundation for further development of mutually beneficial long-term cooperation, Berdymukhamedov said on state television.
He did not outline the agenda of the meeting but a Turkmen government source told Reuters he expected energy cooperation issues to come up.
Turkmenistan, a former Soviet republic, is seeking to diversify gas exports after Russia halted imports in April in the midst of a dispute between the two countries.
Russia, the Turkmens' main partner, has called for a review of supply terms as a result of its dwindling demand for natural gas.
Before the row, Turkmenistan used to sell about 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to Russia, or about two thirds of its total output.
U.S. foe Chavez is a strong supporter of Moscow's idea to create an international cartel of gas producers similar to OPEC which could boost their clout in the global market.
(Reporting by Marat Gurt; Writing by Olzhas Auyezov)