ANKARA, Turkey, Dec. 18 (UPI) -- Financing for the $11.3 billion Nabucco gas pipeline is a challenge, though ties with Azerbaijan could benefit the project, Turkish lawmakers said.
Ankara hosted the signing of a milestone intergovernmental agreement by representatives of Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania and Turkey on the construction of the Nabucco natural gas pipeline in July.
A report from the Turkish Foreign Affairs Committee passed its recommendations on Nabucco to lawmakers this week, warning of financial challenges for the project, Turkey's leading English-language daily Today's Zaman reports.
The report warned about "uncertainties" in the financial support for the gas pipeline, which the committee felt posed "a serious risk."
Taner Yildiz, the Turkish energy minister, expressed optimism about the prospects for Nabucco, however, pointing to gas deals with Azerbaijan as a sign of progress.
Ties between Baku and Ankara are strained over regional disputes, though both sides have made progress on the diplomatic front.
Nevertheless, the committee noted that for Nabucco, Baku could play a "key role."
Europe aims to diversify its energy sector with Nabucco, bringing gas from Central Asia and the Middle East along a Turkish route. Ankara is slated to host a section of Russia's South Stream as well.