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Iranian, Turkish ministers discusses energy cooperation

May 8, 2008 - BBC Monitoring

Turkish State Minister Kursad Tuzmen, currently in Iran on a formal visit, met on Thursday [8 May] with Iranian Energy Minister Parviz Fattah to discuss how to improve cooperation on energy and trade.

Tuzmen said at the meeting that Turkish government is determined to improve commercial relations with Iran in every field and that energy sector could have a huge contribution to hit the target of 20bn US dollars of trade volume in 2011. This figure was 8bn last year.

"We know how to trade and how to invest. But we also know that we cannot do anything without energy," Tuzmen said.

Turkey buys power from Turkmenistan via Iran and expects an extra deal to buy 1.5bn kWh, Tuzmen said and asked Iran to support Turkey on the issue. Tuzmen said Turkey wants to buy a part of Turkmen power via Nakhichevan, an autonomous republic of Azerbaijan, to revive the region and he asked Iran to colaunch trilateral talks.

Tuzmen also said that Turkey and Iran could cooperate on alternative energy resources.

"Your energy resources are based on hydrocarbon and you will run out of it one day. We seriously need energy. We pay 40bn US dollars each year for energy. Turkey and Iran can work together on solar and wind power, as well as nanotechnology," Tuzmen said.

Iranian Minister Fattah welcomed Turkey's interest in investment in Iran on oil, natural gas and other energy resources. He said Iran could meet Turkey's energy need.

"We are ready for any kind of cooperation on water and power,"Fattah said.

Fattah also said that Iran has the nuclear technology to generate electricity.

"But the issue has become political and that's why we cannot cooperate with Turkey at the moment," he said.

Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 1327 gmt 8 May 08

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