Iran, Turkey to Continue Gas Deal Talks

A03143003.jpgTEHRAN (FNA)- Turkey’s Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said Friday negotiations to finalize a contract for the purchase of Iran’s natural gas still continue, adding that he would “visit Tehran to sign the agreement as soon as it is finalized”.

Guler made the comment in reaction to a report in one of his country’s economic dailies, Donya, in which it was claimed that negotiations for buying the Iranian natural gas has been suspended.

The news item in ‘Donya’s Thursday issue also said that the talks for finalizing annual sales of 20 billion cubic meters of Iran and Turkmenistan’s natural gas to Turkey, and Turkey’s investments in Iran’s South Pars Oil Field for extracting 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas had reached no result, and were currently suspended at the order of Guler.

Turkish Energy Minister’s Media Deputy Mohammad Akef Sham said Friday in an interview with IRNA, “Mr. Guler also in his press conference with the NTV, the CNN and the Reuters reiterated that suspension of gas talks with Iran is out of question.”

Guler has said in the same press conference that he is ready to visit Tehran to sign the related contract when it is finalized.

In response to a question why he had not visited Tehran in August, as it had earlier been announced, to sign the contract, he said, “The contract has to be finalized first, and signed after that.” Emphasizing that he would take a trip to Tehran, the Turkish Energy Minister said, “Yet, before that visit I would visit Turkmenistan and a couple of other countries in the region and hold talks with them on energy.”

Guler on Thursday held talks in Antalya with Deputy Iranian Petroleum Minister Akbar Torkan at Antalya on the sidelines of Turkey’s International Oil and Gas Conference and negotiated with him in details on issues, including finalizing the gas export contract.

Guler also said at the said conference that Turkey attaches importance to cooperation with Iran in energy field, and can rely on cooperation with Iran implement the agreements reached on construction of the Nabucco gas pipeline.

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