EU, Iraq sign energy cooperation pact | world | Hindustan Times
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EU, Iraq sign energy cooperation pact

world Updated: Jan 19, 2010 08:33 IST

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The European Union (EU) and Iraq have signed an agreement to boost cooperation in the energy sector, Xinhua reported Monday.

The pact provides a political framework to strengthen energy cooperation between Iraq and the EU, the European Commission said in a statement Monday.

"Iraq represents a vital link for EU's security of (energy) supply," said EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, who signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Iraqi Oil Minister Hussain Al-Shahristani in Baghdad.

The EU could help Iraq develop electricity network and tap its vast renewable resources, he added.

The document outlines cooperation in developing renewable energy, energy efficiency and an energy policy for Iraq, among others.

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 that bring gas from the Caspian Sea and the Central Asian region 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.