World Bulletin/News Desk
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday Turkey was the only country expected to grow in the next decade in Europe.
Biden praised Turkey as a regional energy hub in a speech at the closing session of the sixth Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit in Istanbul.
The summit has brought together world leaders to debate critical global energy and geopolitical issues.
Speaking about Turkey's potential growth in the energy sector and the global economy, the U.S. vice president said: "Turkey is the only one expected to grow in the next decade in Europe."
He also addressed Russia and its alleged use of energy as a weapon to keep Europe in a stranglehold.
He said energy meant security in Europe and Russia was deliberately using energy as a weapon.
"Russian aggression in Ukraine shows that there are multiple dimensions to European security; one is hard military power, second is use of energy as a weapon," Biden said.
He said energy dependence on Russia was becoming a problem for many countries. "I do not believe Russia will remain a major source of energy supply in Europe," he added.
The Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit began on Nov. 19. It hosted discussions on a variety of topics, including energy security, global energy outlook, demand and supply, oil and natural gas, energy finance and investments, and renewable energy sources.
Joe Biden also welcomed an agreement between Iraq's central government and its northern Kurdistan region over the management of oil exports, a step forward in a feud that has threatened the unity of Iraq.
After years of friction, the two sides last week struck a deal in which Kurds will give half of their overall oil shipments to the federal government and Baghdad will pay overdue civil servants' salaries in the region.
Oil has been at the heart of a feud between the Arab-led government in Baghdad and the ethnic Kurdish-run northern enclave, which dispute control over oilfields, territory and crude revenues shared between the two regions.
Baghdad has said it alone has the authority to control exports and sign contracts, while the Kurds say their right to do so is enshrined in the Iraqi constitution.
Biden also said that Washington supported the development of an oil pipeline from southern Iraq's Basra oilfields to Turkey's Mediterranean port of Ceyhan, a project which Turkey has long advocated despite reluctance in Baghdad.
After the closing session of the summit, Biden is expected to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for a working lunch at the Beylerbeyi Palace Saturday.
Biden will leave Turkey for Washington Sunday after a meeting with Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox churches.
Last Mod: 22 Kasım 2014, 12:43