EU, Iraq sign MoU to boost energy cooperation

14:42, January 19, 2010      

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The European Union (EU) and Iraq have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on building a strategic energy partnership, the European Commission announced Monday.

The document provides a political framework for reinforcing energy relations between Iraq and the EU, said the commission, the EU's executive arm, in a statement.

"Iraq represents a vital link for EU's security of (energy) supply," said EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who signed the MoU with Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain Al-Shahristani in Baghdad, adding that the EU could help Iraq develop electricity system and tap its vast renewable resources.

The document outlines cooperation in developing an energy policy for Iraq, energy security of supplies between Iraq and the EU, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Iraq, with the world's third largest proven oil reserves, is already an important supplier of oil and can become a key gas supplier for the Southern Corridor, Piebalgs said.

The Southern Corridor refers to pipelines needed to bring Caspian Sea and Central Asian gas to the EU with the Nabucco pipeline as the main part of the network.

The gas transit networks, including Nabucco and several other natural gas routes, were envisioned by the EU to achieve energy security by diversifying its energy supply and reducing dependence on Russia.

In recent years, the EU has significantly strengthened its relations with partners in the Middle East and North Africa to diversify its energy supply.

Source: Xinhua
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