Thursday, April 05, 2007

French genocide bill prompts Turkey to suspend pipeline talks

From the International Herald Tribune:

ANKARA: Turkey has suspended talks with Gaz de France over a pipeline project that would bring Caspian natural gas to Europe in reaction to a French bill on the mass killings of Armenians during Ottoman rule, senior Turkish energy officials told Reuters on Thursday.

Nabucco is a 4.6-billion euro ($6.14 billion) project to transport natural gas from Turkey to Austria, passing through Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. The planned pipeline would reduce Europe's dependency on Russian gas.

France angered Ankara last year when its national assembly passed a bill making it a crime to deny that the mass killings of Armenians during the fall of the Ottoman Empire amounted to genocide.

"We will suspend partnership by Gaz de France until the French presidential elections. We will decide according to policies to be followed after the elections," a senior energy ministry official, who declined to be named, said.

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