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Turkey's tripartite initiative important for solution to Caspian dispute between Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan: expert

11 December 2013 [11:30] - TODAY.AZ
By AzerNews

Experts believe that Turkey's intention to create a new tripartite format among Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan is aimed to deepen close interaction between the nations.

Head of Center for International Strategy and Security Studies, Turkish expert Dr. Mehmet Seyfettin Erol thinks that the new format is primarily directed to deepen regional stability and cooperation.

"Turkey's intention is aimed to pursue more active policy in Caucasus, Caspian region and Middle Asia, as well as to continue its energy projects (terminal country and creation of energy market) and to establish closer relations with regional countries," he told Azernews.

Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan intend to create a tripartite format of relationship, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said as part of the 20th meeting of the OSCE Ministerial Council meeting on December 6, Turkish Axsam newspaper reported.

There are currently Azerbaijan-Turkey-Iran and Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia tripartite formats. The foreign ministers of these countries annually meet in these formats.

Erol believes that another importance of this format is Turkey's wish to play more active role in resolving the dispute between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan over the Caspian Sea.

"Disputes over the Caspian Sea will become international and international requirements will increase in the subsequent years," he added.

Turkey wishes to accelerate the solution to the problem, as it is very important for the implementation of 300km-long Trans-Caspian project with a capacity is 30-40 billion cubic meters of gas per year, which will run from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijan, where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor.

"This format will also enable Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to put their willpower for diplomatic solution of the dispute," Erol thinks. "This item will be on the agenda of the tripartite format.

The legal status of the Caspian Sea, which is surrounded by five littoral countries - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran, is yet to be determined. A number of talks on this issue have been held in previous years and negotiations are underway.

Azerbaijani political analyst Zardusht Alizade believes that with the intention of tripartite format Ankara intends to achieve close interaction between Azerbaijan, Turkey and Turkmenistan.

"Oil and gas pipelines from Azerbaijan running through Turkey had increased Turkey's great importance for Europe as the main transit corridor for hydrocarbon feedstock. Turkmenistan is attractive for the outside world only as the gas-rich country. Turkey intends to cooperate closely with both gas-rich Turkmenistan, and geographically important Azerbaijan which can host a gas pipeline running from Turkmenistan across the Caspian Sea. Finally, Turkey will gain gas and transit to Europe," Alizade told Azernews.

Consequently, Turkey will not only get pay minimum 20 billion cubic meters of gas for transit, but also will become more important partner of Europe, he believes.

"Turkey will also diversify the gas sources, which will help to keep its price as low as possible," Alizade stressed.

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