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Turkey asks US to protect Iraqi-Turkish oil pipeline

Xinhuanet 2003-06-26 17:12:52

””””ANKARA, June 26 (Xinhuanet) -- Turkey has asked the United States to help protect the oil pipeline linking northern Iraqi oil fields in Kirkuk and the Turkish Mediterranean port of Yumurtalik, reported Turkish daily Zaman on Thursday.

””””After recent sabotages in the oil pipeline that carries Iraqi oil to the world via Turkey, the Turkish Foreign Ministry conveyed an official demand to the US authorities for protection of the safety of the oil flow.

””””Turkey maintained that a de facto administration was in the hands of the coalition forces in Iraq.

””””"It was their duty to protect that region covering the stretch of the pipeline," said the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

””””Diplomatic sources said Washington was in favor of starting the delivery of Iraqi oil through the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline as soon as possible so as to gain funds to support reconstruction of the war-torn country.

””””The US authorities in Iraq and Iraqi officials were continuing to repair the line and it might be possible to pump oil to the pipeline again in Mid-July.

””””There were explosions at three points on the Kirkuk-Yumurtalik pipeline in June and sabotage possibility was considered. But Americans initially said the explosions were caused by oil leakage. Enditem ””””

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