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Brussels, 7 May 2009

The Southern Corridor: EU and partner countries commit to move forward

The European Commission and the Czech Presidency of the EU will tomorrow host a Summit in Prague with partner third countries on the development of the Southern Corridor for energy and transport. The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Mirek Topolánek will meet with the leaders of partner countries from Central Asia, Southern Caucasus, Mashreq and Middle East. The Summit participants will discuss concrete ways for progressing on the development of the Southern Corridor for energy and transport, in particular the supplies of natural gas to the EU along the Corridor route. The Summit is the first time that potential partners in the Southern Corridor meet at the highest level to discuss their shared interests, and the summit declaration will provide the first formal commitments by consumer, producer and transit states on the conditions necessary to make a success of the Corridor. President Barroso will be accompanied by Commissioner Piebalgs during the summit.

The President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso said: “After four years of intensive dialogue with our energy partners from Central Asia, Southern Caucasus, Mashreq and the Middle East, today we are moving ahead with concrete commitments to make the Southern Corridor, including the Trans-Caspian link a reality. This Summit provides a unique opportunity to bring together all the key actors in the region to increase the European Union's energy security, and to launch co operation that will benefit all concerned".

The Summit is a joint event between the Czech Presidency and the European Commission. The participating partner countries are Azerbaijan, Egypt, Georgia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. The summit is also attended by the representatives of the Russian Federation, United States and Ukraine as observers. The representatives of the international financial institutions (EIB, EBRD and World Bank) will be also present.

The objective of the summit is to provide strong political support and concrete commitments for the development of the Southern Corridor, including the Trans-Caspian interconnection. This should include commitments by energy producer, transit and consumer countries along the Corridor and would facilitate the supplies of energy resources from the Caspian region and Middle East to the EU. The Summit is equally addressing the transport-related aspects of the Southern Corridor route.

The EU has recently embarked on an ambitious plan to enhance its energy security. Within this strategy, the Southern Corridor plays an important role as a major energy infrastructure initiative contributing to diversification of energy sources and routes for EU supplies.

For more information on EU’s energy cooperation with Central Asia and Caucasus countries:

For more information on EU’s external energy policy:

For more information on the 2nd strategic energy review:

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