September 9, 2008

Azerbaijan Denies Plans to Withdraw From Nabucco Gas Project

Text of report by private Azerbaijani TV station ANS on 9 September

[Presenter] [Azerbaijani] Industry and Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev has commented on statements that the Nabucco project of the transport of Caspian gas to Europe is ineffective and that it has been rejected. The minister said that the Azerbaijani government is determined to carry out the project.

[Natiq Aliyev, speaking to journalists] We believe that the Nabucco project is very real and is likely to be successful in the future. But I can say personally that it has been politicized so much and hydrocarbon resources for it have been said to be difficult to attain that this project has been called into question a little bit. They want to stir up things even more.

We are holding regular meetings and exchange views with project operators in connection with Nabucco. However, there is no physical involvement here in any way. We support them, we cooperate with them in some areas, carry out some research.

[Turan news agency, Baku, in Russian 0712 gmt 9 Sep 08 said that speaking at the Azerbaijani-Turkmen energy conference in Baku on 9 September, Turkish Energy Minister Hilmi Guler said that it was definite that the Nabucco project would be carried out. Guler also said that Turkey would ensure the stable operation of the gas pipeline on its territory, Turan reported.

Azerbaijani news agency APA, Baku, in Azeri 0659 gmt 9 Sep 08 quoted Azerbaijani Deputy Prime Minister Yaqub Eyyubov as saying that the goal of the conference was to expand cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. In the meantime, Industry and Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev said the goal was to demonstrate to the West what role Azerbaijan could play in the delivery of Turkmenistan's energy resources to Europe. "We have energy corridors and they are more secure than other routes," APA quoted Aliyev as saying. "Azerbaijan will demonstrate its potential to Europe through this conference."

Interfax news agency, Moscow, in Russian 0656 gmt 9 Sep 08 quoted Boyden Gray, US special envoy for Eurasian energy, as saying at the conference in Baku that the USA welcomes the expansion of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. "This will help diversify the market's energy supplies," Gray said.]

Originally published by ANS TV, Baku, in Azeri 0700 9 Sep 08.

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