World Bulletin / News Desk
The construction of a pipeline to transport natural gas through Azerbaijan and Turkey to Europe is likely to start by the end of 2014, Turkey's Prime Minister said Friday.
Speaking at a joint press conference with Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev in Baku, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey's cabinet had paved the way for construction by nationalizing the area where the pipeline would pass through.
Aliyev said: "We expect to open the TANAP in 2018 with my brother Erdogan. This project will contribute to our bilateral relations to a significant extent."
Aliyev said that the project would also contribute to the relations of the two states with neighboring countries.
The pipeline was announced in November 2011 at the Third Black Sea Energy and Economic Forum in Istanbul and the two leaders signed a binding intergovernmental agreement on the pipeline in June 2012.
The two leaders also said they discussed Azerbaijan and Armenia's territorial dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. Aliyev thanks Turkey for its support, which Erdogan reiterated, against what he claimed is an Armenian occupation of Karabakh.
Erdogan hinted, in response to a question, that the two leaders had talked about the movement led by U.S.-based scholar Fethullah Gulen and its schools in Azerbaijan.
"If there is a problem in our countries which also bothers the two countries, of course, we would surely talk on it," said Erdogan.
"We are allies, brothers. We have covered a lot of issues. There is no issue which we did not touch upon. If there is an issue which damages our relations, we will surely take all necessary steps against it," said Aliyev.
Azerbaijan sacked the head of the Political Analysis and Information Provision department, Elnur Aslanov, last month for alleged links to Gulen.Last Mod: 05 Nisan 2014, 09:45