Turkish PM goes to Azerbaijan to discuss gas supplies.

27/7 Tass 48

ANKARA, July 27 (Itar-Tass) — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan arrives on Wednesday in Baku for an official visit to discuss supplies of natural gas and the situation in the region.

Within the framework of the visit, Erdogan will meet with Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev. A visit to Baku is traditional for a newly elected Turkish prime minister, as it is Baku that the new head of the Cabinet of Ministers usually goes to after visiting North Cyprus.

Azerbaijani-Turkish talks will focus on legal aspects of the contract to sell natural gas from the Caspian Shah-Deniz gas condensate field to Turkey, SOCAR head of the Department for Foreign Investments Vagif Aliyev said in Baku at a meeting with Turkish reporters.

According to him, the sides have finished negotiations on most clauses of the contract, including transit payment, the amount of gas and options of transportation. However, differences on legal issues stall the signing.

Aliyev stressed that the amount of investments in the Shah-Deniz project, taking into consideration the construction of pipelines, could be 25 to 30 billion dollars and must be guaranteed. They can be obtained on condition of solid legal framework that would protect interests of all parties.

The Turkish prime minister will be accompanied by a government delegation, which will also take part in negotiations. It is also expected that during talks with the Turkish prime minister, the sides will discuss cancellation of visas for Turkish nationals going to Azerbaijan, conflict settlement in the mostly Armenian populated Azerbaijani enclave of Nagorno Karabakh and Turkish-Armenian relations.

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