Ankara Seeks Bush’s Support Concerning Baku Ceyhan Pipeline

ISTANBUL (Marmara)–Turkey is hoping President-Elect Bush will follow the Clinton administration’s policy supporting the construction of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline. Clinton was a staunch supporter of the proposed pipeline between Azerbaijan and Turkey from early on. The Turkish government has sent a high level delegation to Washington to meet and discuss the pipeline with Bush’s closest advisors and cabinet members. According to a delegate–the Turks were assured continued US support for the pipeline and were told the new administration has closer ties to Turkey than the previous one.

However–Bush and Clinton do not see eye to eye on various issues in the region–in particular relations with Iran. Bush has opposed sanctions against Iran upheld by the Clinton administration and has called for purchasing oil from the Iranians. Ankara claims it is not alarmed by the prospect of Iranian oil being sold to the US–since the Baku-Ceyhan pipe-line would be built by 2004–whereas US-Iranian relations would normalize in 5-6 years time allowing for oil to be exported.

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