5/9/2008

EU-Turkey agree on Arab gas pipeline cooperation

Hurriyet - The EU, Turkey, Iraq and Mashreq countries (Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) reached a consensus to connect Arabian natural gas pipeline to Turkey, Iraq and the EU through Nabucco and other pipelines at a commission meeting in Brussels. The consensus aims to develop regional cooperation in the natural gas sector through the Euro-Arab Mashreq gas market center and extending its participation to Iraq and Turkey said the statement. The EU Commission stated that a Turkish delegation led by Energy Ministry deputy undersecretary Yusuf Yazar, European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs, European Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner, EU President Slovenia's economy minister and energy ministers of Arabian countries, who convened in Brussels, agreed on the participation of Turkey and Iraq in the Europe-Arabian Mashreq natural gas cooperation. Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner said: “The Mashreq countries, Turkey and Iraq, are key energy partners for the EU, and it is important that we fully exploit the potential of our now well-established co-operation." "The Arab Gas Pipeline is set to be finalized by the end of the year, opening important possibilities as a new transport route for gas to the EU, particularly for the Nabucco project. This is just one example of how we are working together to integrate our energy markets in our mutual interest” Ferrero-Waldner added. The Arab Gas Pipeline currently runs from Egypt through Jordan to Syria and has a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year. The pipeline, which will be interconnected with Turkey and Iraq by 2009, will provide a new transport route for gas resources from the Mashreq region to the EU. It is expected that, in the future, the pipeline will be connected with the Nabucco project.