FM Çavuşoğlu: Turkey wants to purchase more gas from Iran

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 12.08.2016 23:28

Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuoğlu announced that Turkey wants to buy more natural gas from Iran. Çavuşoğlu held a press conference in Ankara on Friday with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif in which he expressed Turkey's willingness to buy more natural gas from Iran, previously an issue in an arbitration case between the two countries, and said that they discussed the price at the meeting.

In 2012, Turkey sued Iran in the International Court of Arbitration for overpricing gas purchases between 2011 and 2015. The court decided in favor of Turkey in February 2016, and ordered that both parties agree to a reduction in prices of between 10 percent and 15 percent for Iranian gas exports to Turkey.

In February, Iranian Deputy Oil Minister Hamid Reza Araqi reportedly said: "Although the court's ruling is final, the money that Iran should pay out to Turkey has not yet been determined," estimating the compensation to be around $1 billion. The exact discount is expected to be announced in September 2016.

Turkey currently imports about 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year from Iran - the country's second supplier after Russia - under a 25-year deal that was signed in 1996.

Asserting that the price charged by Iran was too high, Turkey in 2012 approached the International Court of Arbitration, demanding that the price be lowered 25 percent. Iran agreed to the discount only if the amount of gas imported was increased, which Ankara rejected. The issue was then taken to court. Çavuşoğlu said on Friday that Turkey and Iran should agree on the price without arbitration. He said that Turkey wants to buy more Iranian gas, but he did not give any further details.

Çavuşoğlu said the two countries have a common goal to reach $30 billion in bilateral trade, and discussed some obstacles restricting trade such as transportation. "We see that Iranian businessmen want to invest in Turkey and Turkish businessmen want to invest in Iran. Our duty is to help them," Çavuşoğlu said, adding they plan to increase the trade volume by removing such obstacles.

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