World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey will respect Iraq's concerns about territorial integrity, Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters on Friday, anticipating likely objections from Baghdad after Iraq's semi-autonomous Kurdish region said it would build a second oil pipeline to Turkey.
"Turkey … has given its guarantee that it will not permit any kind of oil shipments without the approval of the federal government in Baghdad," Yildiz emphasized, adding that Turkey did not want to violate its existing energy agreements with Baghdad.
“There is no question of us taking sides. Turkey will be expanding the borders of energy, while political borders remain fixed. Turkey will be mindful of the concerns of the central Iraqi administration,” Yildiz said.
Ashti Hawrami, the natural resources minister for the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), announced yesterday plans to build a second oil pipeline to Turkey within the next two years as it ramps up output independently of Baghdad.
Yildiz also said that Turkey wants to boost energy cooperation with Baghdad, including increasing the capacity of the outdated Kirkuk-Ceyhan crude pipeline and building a new link.
He stressed that there was a limit to the amount of oil that could be shipped through the Strait of Hormuz. “The road for getting this oil to the world market lies through Turkey,” he said, adding that a new oil line from Iraq to Turkey would be a positive development for Iraq.Last Mod: 02 Kasım 2013, 11:24