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EU, Turkey sign energy agreements

June 15, 2012 at 8:11 AM

STUTTGART, Germany, June 15 (UPI) -- The European Union announced the signing of agreements aimed at ensuring enhanced energy relations with the Turkish government.

European officials met in Stuttgart, Germany, with Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz and Turkish Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Bagis.

Both sides agreed on a package of measures meant to define long-term energy cooperation and the need to promote clean energy technologies.

"Turkey and the EU are important energy partners, sharing common strategic challenges and objectives," a joint statement read. "There is great scope for cooperation on issues which are in the interest of both sides."

Turkey aims to become a major energy transit hub in the region. It hosts a section of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, a 1,100-mile pipeline stretching from an oil field in the Caspian Sea.

Russian energy company Gazprom aims to build its South Stream natural gas pipeline through the Turkish waters of the Black Sea. The European Union would rely on Turkish territory to host parts of the Southern Corridor, a series of gas transit networks meant to break Russia's grip on the regional energy sector.

"Such integration will not only increase security of energy supply in Europe and Turkey, it will also create important business opportunities," the joint statement read.

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