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Four-way Caspian Summit in Aqtau

Question:  There's an opinion, that during the Aqtau summit, the questions concerning Caspian sea were discussed, without Iran. What is your opinion on this? If, for example its true, how would it affect the future talks with all five Caspian littoral states?

Answer:  Of course following the public Iranian protest, there was a statement that nothing of a Caspian-wide nature would be discussed. But there was no agenda set for the talks, and anything could have been discussed, including outside the formal meetings. If this happened, it could only have contributed to consensus-building in the five-way talks, just as previous bilateral and trilateral meetings have done. However, I have no first-hand information on what was in fact discussed.

Question:  Taking into consideration that Iran wasn't invited to Aqtau , what should be expected from the Caspian summit with all leaders of Caspian littoral states participating?

Answer:  It would be surprising if there were great substantive progress beyond what was achieved at the last meeting.

Question:  As far, as diversification of gas supplies to Europe are concerned, how > important do you believe is Azerbaijan's role in the Nabucco project?

Answer:  Azerbaijan has a key role to play in the Nabucco project through development of the Shah Deniz Two deposit and as a transit country for larger quantities of gas to Europe from Turkmenistan.

Question:  Considering the latest gas supply talks, do you think Turkmenistan will become a part of the Nabucco project?

Answer:  It is more likely than not, but this may take more time than originally foreseen.

Copyright © Robert M. Cutler unless otherwise noted.
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URL:  http://www.robertcutler.org/blog/2009/09/fourway_caspian_summit_in_aqta.html
First published as T. Temur, "Azerbaijan has a key role to play in Nabucco project: expert at Carleton University," Today (Baku), 16 September 2009.

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