EU, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan continue cooperation on trans-caspian gas pipeline

European Union is happy to witness the process of rapprochement with Azerbaijan within the framework of bilateral cooperation, which brings its fruit, Stefan Fule, EU Commissar for Expanding and European Neighborhood Policy, said yesterday at a press conference after the session of the Azerbaijani-EU Council in Brussels.

"In the energy field, which is a part of strategic partnership, we have taken significant steps in the South Energy Corridor. We welcome ratification of the agreements on construction and operation of TANAP pipeline by the Azerbaijani parliament. We expect that the Shah-Deniz consortium will make a final decision on the route of the gas export to the EU in the coming months," Fule added.

He said the draft of the trans-Caspian pipeline has been discussed at the meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister. "We and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Mammadyarov have confirmed our commitments to closely cooperate with Turkmenistan to complete our tripartite agreement by paving the way to the South Energy Corridor," EU Commissar said.

* In September 2011 EU instructed the European Commission to start talks with the governments of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to implement the trans-Caspian gas pipeline project. Six rounds of talks between the sides have taken place from mid-October 2011 till May 2012. Two documents were planned to be signed this year - the political Declaration in support of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline, which had to be signed by Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan as well as the EU high-ranking official, and the intergovernmental agreement on the project between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. However, Turkmenistan officials refused to sign any documents and even memorandum with both the West and Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan and Brussels, however, established good relationships: on January 13, 2011 Azerbaijan and EU signed the memorandum on cooperation in the energy field and also created the working group between the Azerbaijan Ministry of Industry and Energy and the European Energy Commissariat.-0--


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