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    German economics minister to visit Caspian states Oct. 16-19

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    German Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos will visit Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan for talks October 16 through 19, a ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

    BERLIN, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - German Minister of Economics and Technology Michael Glos will visit Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan for talks October 16 through 19, a ministry spokesperson said Tuesday.

    The representative said the talks in the two energy-rich Caspian countries would focus on opportunities for Germany to diversify its fuel supply sources, and that Glos would attend economic forums in both countries during his visit.

    Kazakhstan is fifth on Germany's list of oil suppliers, which the ministry representative said proved the country's was essential for German energy security. Trade turnover more than doubled between Germany and Kazakhstan over the last three years, and experts say the trend has continued this year.

    Glos is expected to meet with Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev and will head a delegation at an economic forum.

    On October 19, the minister will arrive in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, where he will meet with economics, energy and environmental ministers to discuss bilateral energy cooperation.

    The ministry spokesperson said Germany is highly interested in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, which transports crude from Azerbaijan to Turkey's Mediterranean coast, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas route from Azerbaijan to Turkey. "Baku ranks tenth in Germany's crude imports," the representative said.

    The source said previous stagnation in commodity turnover between the two countries has been overcome mainly due to better contract conditions for German exports and investments.

    During his visit Glos will meet with Azerbaijan's leader Ilkham Aliyev and attend a German-Azerbaijani economic forum.

    Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are seen as potential participants in Nabucco, a natural gas pipeline project expected to link energy-rich Central Asia to Europe through Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and Austria. The European Union expects the project to diversify its supply routes away from Russia and to boost European energy security.

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