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Greece in 'final sprint' to make TAP first choice for Shah Deniz natgas
Greece is now in the "final sprint" of the race to ensure that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) is the one selected by Azerbaijan in June as its first choice for transporting natural gas to Europe, the foreign ministry's general secretary for international economic relations Panagiotis Mihalos said to the ANA-MPA on Monday.
Prime Minister Antonis Samaras' working visit to Baku, during which he underlined the Greek government's determination to support the project, took place in the framework of this effort, he added.
Referring to premier's trip to Azerbaijan on Sunday, the head of the TAP consortium in Greece Rikard Scoufias stressed that the visit was very successful, adding that the premier had given his support to the project from the start.
"The strong but also broad support that we have for the project in Greece is an important element for the competitive offer we have submitted for the Greek route. We are grateful for this and feel confident and certain about TAP's prospects," he said.
Mihalos, on his part, also noted the regional benefits of the pipeline and the prospects of supplying the western Balkans with natural gas via Greece. He said the foreign ministry was working with Italy and Albania to promote the project, as well as with Balkan countries in order to more fully exploit the pipeline's potential, while Greece's environment, energy and climate change ministry was near to concluding the host government agreement.