French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed on Friday to his visiting Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul of cooperation over the Nabucco natural gas pipeline project.
"French enterprises hope to participate in the Nabucco project, " Sarkozy told Gul during their working lunch in Elysee Palace after attending the inauguration of a Turkish culture exhibition in Paris earlier in the day, the presidential palace told press.
The Nabucco pipeline is a planned natural gas pipeline about 3, 300 kilometers long which runs from Erzurum in Turkey, via Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, to Austria. It is expected to start construction in 2010 and finish in 2014.
Sarkozy also expressed his interests in cooperating with Turkey on civilian nuclear energy and energy development in Central Asia, according to the same source.
Gul welcomed interests from France, but said it is up to the consortia to decide the cooperation over Nabucco project, because the Turkish government isn't among the partners.
When the EU membership issue came up, Sarkozy still refused to support the Islamic country to win the European Union membership. Gul left the palace without any public declaration.
From Wednesday, Gul paid a three-day official visit to Paris, during which he also met with French Prime Minister Francois Fillon and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.
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