Deputy Secretary Poneman and Minister Yildiz discussed ways our two countries can improve our energy security as well as ways to expand ongoing cooperation on energy efficiency and clean energy alternatives, while promoting cooperation between U.S. and Turkish companies.
On June 27, Deputy Energy Secretary Daniel Poneman met with Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz in Istanbul. This was the latest in a long series of meetings between the two officials dating back to the 2009 International Energy Forum ministerial and including the Minister’s most recent May 2013 visit to Washington.
Deputy Secretary Poneman began by expressing his sincere condolences to the victims and survivors of the Soma coal mine disaster, which claimed the lives of over 300 Turkish mine workers this May. Minister Yildiz outlined plans under consideration in Turkey for comprehensive changes in mine safety in Turkey, and the Deputy Secretary reiterated DOE's offer to assist Turkey in this effort. The Deputy Secretary noted that DOE staff is working now with the U.S. Department of Labor to set up meetings for visiting Turkish experts this fall, as well as providing information on U.S. mine safety and regulatory experience.
Deputy Secretary Poneman and Minister Yildiz also discussed a number of ways our two countries can improve our energy security, including working together to diversify sources of energy supplies through such projects as the continued development of the Southern Corridor, which will expand delivery of Azeri gas to European markets beginning in 2018. The two officials also discussed current challenges and prospects in the region, including Iraq and the Middle East. The Deputy Secretary and the Minister also discussed ways to expand ongoing cooperation on energy efficiency and clean energy alternatives, while promoting cooperation between U.S. and Turkish companies.
The visit highlighted the breadth and benefits of US-Turkish partnership with on a wide range of energy and related security issues, reflecting the mutual interests of the two nations and their successful track record of bilateral cooperation.