Turkey's chief EU negotiator: Erdogan's remarks misinterpreted

Erdogan said Monday that Turkey could review its support for the Nabucco.

Turkey's chief EU negotiator: Erdogan's remarks misinterpreted

Turkey's Chief Negotiator for EU talks said Wednesday that opening of energy chapter in negotiations was not a precondition for Nabucco project, which the EU considers as a key to its energy diversification, pledging that Turkey would not use its cards as a weapon.

At a press conference in Brussels where Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan met top EU officials early this week, Egemen Bagis said that Erdogan's remarks were misinterpreted by the European media.

Erdogan said Monday that Turkey could review its support for the Nabucco --a planned gas pipeline to carry Central Asian natural gas to Austria via Turkey-- if the energy part of its EU accession talks remained blocked.

Turkey has opened 10 out of the 35 chapters so far in talks with EU. In 2006, EU suspended eight chapters as Ankara refused to open its ports and airports to trade with the Greek Cypriots administration who said that it would not allow negotiations on energy chapter due to an oil exploration dispute.

"Mr. Erdogan expressed his complaint about a tiny EU member (Greek Cypriots), although they were not affected negatively by the recent natural gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine but took a blocking stance --despite no opening criteria-- over the energy chapter which concerns the entire EU with a population of 500 million," Turkey's new state minister and EU negotiator told reporters.

"The only obstacle before Nabucco is not the energy chapter. There are supply problems, security problems and cost problems," he said, adding that Turkey attached great importance to the project and held talks on it with the EU in every level.


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Last Mod: 21 Ocak 2009, 15:41
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