Best way to transfer Kazakh oil and gas is via Turkmenistan and Iran

Apr 27, 2002 02:00 AM

Iranian President Mohammad Khatami and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev reiterated their belief that the best way to transfer Kazakh oil, gas and energy to international waterways is via Turkmenistan and Iran. The two presidents told that Iran is the shortest, most economical and secure route for transferring Central Asian energy to international waterways.

Iran currently receives Kazakh oil via the Caspian Sea and transfers the same amount of oil for Kazakhstan to the Persian Gulf, said the Iranian president, who also expressed hope landlocked Kazakhstan would soon have a fast and economical access to international waterways for exports of its energy.
Underlining the need for further expansion of Tehran-Astana cooperation, he said bilateral relations of the two countries are based on mutual respect, non-interference in each other's domestic affairs, pursuit of common interests and fostering peace and security in the entire region, particularly the Caspian.
Strengthening of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) as well as settlement of problems facing the Caspian Sea littoral states in line with the common pursuit for peace and security in the region were other areas Khatami said he and his Kazakh counterpart have a meeting of minds.

On the presence of foreign forces in the Central Asian region, he stressed that it is currently being justified as part of the war against terrorism, but is nonetheless disconcerting. He said he recognized the need for countries to work to eradicate terrorism, particularly state terrorism, on a global scale.
Meanwhile, the Kazakh president revealed that a project is currently under study for the transfer of Kazakh oil to the Omani Sea via Iranian territory. He also stressed the importance of having both countries maintain a balance of trade.
Expressing satisfaction with the current visit of the Iranian president, he expressed the hope that it can contribute to a further strengthening and expansion of bilateral cooperation. President Khatami arrived in Almaty on the second leg of a five-nation Central Asian tour.

Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kamal Kharrazi, Minister of Science, Research and Technology Mostafa Moin, Minister of Roads and Transportation Ahmad Khorram and a number of Majlis deputies are accompanying him in this trip. The two presidents started official talks on Tehran-Astana relations.
The Iranian president had earlier wound up a two-day visit to Ashgabat, Turkmenistan where he joined leaders of other Caspian littoral states in a summit meeting to discuss the issue of sharing of the sea's resources, and decide on the issue of Caspian legal regime. During his stay in the Turkmen capital Ashgabat he and his Turkmen counterpart, President Saparmurat Niyazov, signed two accords on commercial and customs cooperation.

The president is scheduled to visit Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the next stages of his Central Asian tour. Prior to this during a meeting with his Kazakh counterpart, President Khatami reiterated that the two nations have strong ties in the sensitive Central Asian region, adding that Tehran wishes to expand the bilateral relations with Astana government, based on mutual respect.
He announced the Islamic Republic's readiness to make the necessary arrangements for transferring Kazakhstan's oil through Turkmenistan and then Iran to the warm waters of the Persian Gulf. The president referred to the Caspian Sea as one of the shared fields of interest for the two countries, adding: "Iran and Kazakhstan, along with the other littoral states of the Caspian Sea, must cooperate in maintaining its ecosystem, and in taking advantage of its resorts."

President Khatami referred to the two countries' close cooperation within the regional organization of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) framework, as another example of the excellent relations between the two countries, adding: "The Islamic Republic of Iran supports the boosting of comprehensive ties among all ECO members."
President Nazarbayev, also referred to the utmost importance his country attaches to the expansion of ties with Iran, adding that Iran plays a decisive role in the region and is one of the most important countries both in the Middle East, and in the vicinity of the other sensitive, Central Asian region.
He said there are lots of opportunities for the expansion of economic ties between the two states in various fields, including the construction of an oil pipeline to transfer Kazakhstan's oil through Iran to the Persian Gulf, which is the most economical way for exporting his country's oil. Meanwhile speaking in Al-Farabi State University of Kazakhstan, President Khatami said that use of force, violence and military actions are no longer effective in preventing or thwarting threats.

Addressing audience at a ceremony to receive an honorary doctorate from Al-Farabi University for his efforts to develop friendship between the Iranian and Kazakh nations, and toestablish democracy and international peace through the ideas of "Dialog Among Civilizations" and "World Coalition for Peace", Khatami said that all world nations today need to accept the fact that resorting to coercion which has its roots in wealth and military hardware will never lead to coexistence accompanied by peace and security.
"What we all need now is to honour ethics, logic and cooperation to prevent human tragedies," he said.

President Khatami recalled the September 11 attacks on the US, and the genocide of Palestinians by the racist Zionist regime, and described terrorism as a 'catastrophe' of modern world that has to be controlled in light of novel views and tools. In another development, addressing a 63-nation Eurasian Media Forum in Almaty, President Khatami called for "dialogue among civilizations" while warning against use of the "language of evil." "The world fears that the language of violence and evil will reign and that the Cold War-era will return," Khatami added.
"The enemiesof dialogue think they are the symbols of truth but they only see themselves and don't notice others. They create enemies, they see enemies everywhere and they use their language for confrontation," he added. President Mohammad Khatami, signed two letters of understanding on bilateral and multilateral cooperation with Kazakh officials.

Source: Compiled From Dispatches
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