Iran Oil Minister to Visit Ankara amid Turkish Cutback on Purchases

Iranian Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi will visit Turkey this week, energy ministry sources told Agence France Presse Monday, amid a Turkish cutback on its oil purchases from Iran under Western pressure.

Qasemi is expected to arrive in Ankara to hold talks with Turkish officials, the ministry source said on condition of anonymity, without elaborating on the details of the visit.

The minister is scheduled to meet Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz on Thursday, the source said.

The visit comes after Turkey struck an oil deal with Libya last month, aimed at diversifying its sources of oil.

Another deal with Saudi Arabia for oil purchase was being negotiated, Yildiz told reporters following the Libya deal, to make up for the cutback on Iranian crude after the U.S. spearheaded sanctions against purchases from Tehran.

Late March, Turkey's sole oil refiner Tupras said it had cut purchases of Iranian oil by 20 percent, as Western nations tightened sanctions on Tehran due to its disputed nuclear program.

Iran insists its nuclear program is meant for peaceful purposes but many in the West fear it is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Source: Agence France Presse

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