ECONOMY


U.S. CONGRATULATES GREECE, TURKEY ON GAS PIPELINE AGREEMENT

"The United States congratulates the governments of Turkey and Greece for the agreement signed December 23, 2003, in Ankara to build a natural gas pipeline connecting the two countries," said State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher December 23.

The pipeline, which will deliver natural gas from Azerbaijan to Greece, via Turkey, beginning in 2006 is "an important building block of the East-West Energy Corridor," he said.

STATEMENT BY RICHARD BOUCHER, SPOKESMAN

Turkey and Greece Sign Natural Gas Pipeline Agreement.

The United States congratulates the governments of Turkey and Greece for the agreement signed December 23, 2003, in Ankara to build a natural gas pipeline connecting the two countries.

The pipeline initially will deliver 500 million cubic meters of natural gas from Azerbaijan to Greece, via Turkey, beginning in 2006. It will serve not only as another important economic link between Greece and Turkey, but also will provide a new source of natural gas for Greece, with the prospect of connecting to markets in the heart of Europe. Up to 11 billion cubic meters annually of natural gas is targeted for transport to Turkey, Greece and Europe in the second phase of the project.

The United States supports the Turkey-Greece pipeline, an important building block of the East-West Energy Corridor. It seeks to develop alternative export pipeline routes for delivery of the Caspian region's vast energy resources to Europe and world markets.

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