Armenia Signs Power Supply Deal With Turkey After Gul Visit

ARMENIA SIGNS POWER SUPPLY DEAL WITH TURKEY AFTER GUL VISIT

Agence France Presse
Sept 10 2008

Armenia has signed a deal to supply electricity to Turkey, Energy
Minister Armen Movsisian said Wednesday, in the first tangible sign
of a thaw in relations since an historic weekend visit by the Turkish
president.

Movsisian told reporters that the deal will see electricity from
Armenian thermal power plants supplied to eastern Turkey from the
beginning of 2009.

"An agreement on this was reached during the recent visit of the
Turkish President Abdullah Gul, Enhanced Coverage LinkingAbdullah
Gul, -Search using: Biographies Plus News News, Most Recent 60 Days
" he said.

"Turkey is a new market for Armenia, as Armenia last supplied
electricity to this country during the Soviet period," he added.

Gul’s visit Saturday to attend a football match between the two
nations’ teams and meet Sarkisian raised hopes that Turkey and Armenia
could overcome traditional enmity and establish diplomatic relations.

The deal was signed between Armenia’s state-owned High Voltage
Electricity Network company and a privately owned Turkish firm called
UNIT, Movsisian said.

He said the infrastructure was in place on the Armenian side to
deliver the electricity but that repairs to transmission lines and
the installation of a new transformer in Turkey would take four to
five months.

He said Armenia would initially supply 1.5 billion kilowatts per
hour of electricity to Turkey and that the amount would eventually
increase to 3.5 billion kilowatts per hour.

Turkey has refused to establish diplomatic ties with eastern neighbour
Armenia because of Yerevan’s campaign for the recognition of the mass
killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire during World War I
as genocide.

In 1993, Turkey dealt a heavy economic blow to its impoverished
neighbour by shutting the border in a show of solidarity with its close
ally Azerbaijan, then at war with Armenia over Nagorny Karabakh — an
Armenian-majority region in Azerbaijan which had declared independence.

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