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U.S. Department of State

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U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
Press Statement

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Statement by Richard Boucher, Spokesman
December 14, 2000

U.S. Support for Caspian Pipeline

The United States Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Export-Import Bank met last week with the Sponsors Group of investors in the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan main export pipeline for Caspian oil to discuss financing arrangements for this important project. These discussions mark another significant step toward realization of this new oil route that will enable producers throughout the Caspian Basin to ship oil to world markets in an economically efficient, environmentally sound way, free from the limitations imposed by geographic choke-points.

Several U.S. companies may be involved in the ownership and construction of this pipeline. The project will therefore provide major new opportunities for US providers of goods and services.

In November 1999, during the OSCE Summit in Istanbul, President Clinton announced to the regional presidents assembled there to conclude Baku-Tbilsi-Ceyhan's framework agreements that "Our Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation and Trade and Development Agency all will work with you on a commercial financing package." We hope that discussions with the Export-Import Bank and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, as well as with other financial institutions, will assist the investors in developing the package of financing and political risk insurance required to complete the project.

[end of document]

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