Turkey and Azerbaijan reach transit accord

April 28, 2010 at 3:55 PM

ISTANBUL, Turkey, April 28 (UPI) -- Turkey and Azerbaijan reached an agreement on terms for the transit of Azeri natural gas through Turkey to Europe.

Today's Zaman reported Wednesday that Energy Minister Taner Yildiz, addressing journalists after an energy conference, said the state-owned Turkish Pipeline Corporation BOTAS finalized an agreement with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic SOCAR of the transit via Turkey of Azeri natural gas to other nations.

Yildiz added that a protocol codifying the arrangement would be signed next month at ceremonies Azeri President Ilham Aliyev would attend.

Yildiz also said that following prolonged negotiations agreement had been reached on the price Turkey will pay for natural gas from Azerbaijan's Caspian offshore Shah Deniz project.

Azerbaijan lacks a direct gas pipeline to Europe and the negotiations with Turkey on transit terms led Aliyev to charge that since 2008 Azerbaijan has been unable to export its natural gas to Europe because of wrangling with Turkey over transit issues.

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