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The prime ministers of Bulgaria and Turkey have expressed a mutual desire to fast-track construction of the Nabucco pipeline.
The statement came in Istanbul on Saturday, where Bulgarian PM Boyko Borisov met with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Both men were accompanied by their finance and energy ministers.
Borisov and Erdogan discussed political and economic relations between the two countries over a working lunch at the Dolmabahce Palace.
Their talks focused on joint infrastructure projects involving transport connections and the construction of the Bulgaria-Turkey gas grid.
Borisov and Erdogan said they would like to see plans for the Nabucco gas pipeline move “from paper to reality,” so that construction of the pipeline can get underway.
The EU-backed gas pipeline was a key point in last week’s talks between the heads of state of the two countries. Bulgarian President Georgi Parvanov and Abdullah Gul vowed to use their contacts to secure enough gas for the project, which is aimed at diversifying energy supplies to Europe.
Bill as the “gas bridge from Asia to Europe,” the 3,900-kilometer pipeline will run from Ahiboz, Turkey, through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary to Baumgarten an der March in Austria. It is projected to start operating in 2017 and carry 31 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year.
The traditionally good relations between Bulgaria and Turkey also received prominent mention during the weekend meeting.
Erdogan accepted Borisov’s invitation to visit Bulgaria in early September 2011.
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