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Iran, Turkey to resume talks on gas exports

Tehran, Sept 4, IRNA -- Iran and Turkey will resume bilateral talks on various issues of natural gas export including gas prices as well as export of Iran's gas to Europe via Turkey in Ankara next week.

According to the Persian-language daily 'Hamshahri', a delegation comprising of experts of the National Iranian Gas Company will follow up talks with Turkey's officials in this regard.

Iran and Turkey held several talks over the last year. The two sides' officials recently discussed export of Iran's natural gas during a visit by Turkey's prime minister and minister of energy to Iran in August but reached no certain agreement.

Based on agreements already signed between Tehran and Ankara, Turkey is obliged to import six billion cubic meters of natural gas from Iran this year while it will import 10 billion cubic meters next year.

Turkey insists on reaching an agreement with Iran prior to sending the issue of reduction in gas price to international courts.

Meanwhile, the English-language daily 'Tehran Times' on Saturday quoted Iran's Deputy Oil Minister for Gas Affairs Mohammad Mallaki as saying that Turkish officials, in their recent negotiations, have verbally assured Iran of transferring its natural gas to Europe via Turkey.

Mallaki said that export of natural gas to Turkey has so far been carried out on schedule, stressing there existed no particular problem in the program.

Also the managing director of the National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), Mallaki stated that Iran's request for transit of its natural gas via Turkey to Europe has not been yet fully accepted by the Turkish government.

"The Turkish side has demanded reduction in gas price, however, both the demands will be reviewed in the next talks held between the two countries," the official said.

Mallaki referred to the future negotiations of the two countries but gave no further information on the time of the talks.

... Payvand News - 9/4/04 ... --

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