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Iran-Turkey gas deal needs more time

Press TV - Turkish President Abdullah Gul has stressed that Ankara and Tehran require further time in a bid to conclude a long term natural gas deal.

"We would have liked to move ahead with the project when Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met with Turkish leaders in Istanbul on Thursday and Friday," Gul said in the central city of Nevsehir on Saturday.

He added, "But we saw that the preparations are not yet sufficient and we instructed our energy ministries to carry out a more detailed work plan."

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, on a two-day visit to Istanbul, had also expressed hope on Friday that the deal would be finalized before long.

Presidents Ahmadinejad and Gul

Last year, Ankara signed a preliminary deal with Tehran to carry natural gas from Iran and Turkmenistan to Europe and to develop three gas fields in Iran.

Nonetheless, Turkey's intention to invest in Iran drew Washington's ire.

Iran along with Russia is a primary supplier of natural gas to Turkey.

Turkey already buys Iranian gas via a pipeline between the two countries that was launched in 2001. In recent years, Ankara-Tehran ties have seen a remarkable overall expansion.

... Payvand News - 08/17/08 ... --

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