Turkey, Bulgaria agree on pipeline for Caspian natural gas

March 21, 2012 10:53 am 

ANKARA, March 21 — Turkey on Tuesday agreed on a pipeline through northwestern Turkey to carry Caspian natural gas to Bulgaria.

The route of the pipeline, which will carry Azerbaijan's gas to Bulgaria for emergency cases, was set during talks between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and visiting Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov.

The Turkish prime minister has presented a political will on the issue and the two parties would finalize the agreement before May, Borissov said at a joint press conference with Erdogan in the Turkish capital of Ankara.

The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine has left Bulgaria stranded.

For his part, Erdogan said Turkey would also have talks with Russia on the issue and then "clear the road map" for the pipeline deal.

Bulgaria suffers failure in natural gas supplies from time to time, said Erdogan, adding that Turkey would not leave this neighboring country alone at those times.

The pipeline is planned to connect the Bulgarian and Turkish domestic gas networks from Turkey's northwestern region to Bulgaria's southern city of Haskovo.

A memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation between Turkey and Bulgaria was signed during Borisov's visit, along with 16 other agreements on bilateral cooperation in economy, tourism, culture, communication and transportation.

The two countries also decided to establish a high-level cooperation mechanism, which Turkey has also launched with Greece, Russia, Iraq and Syria.

Erdogan said he would visit Bulgaria at the end of May. (PNA/Xinhua)

LDV/ebp

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