US vice president terms Turkey 'regional energy hub'
US Vice President Joe Biden has said Turkey is the only country which is expected to grow in the next decade in Europe.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said Saturday that Turkey was the only country expected to grow in the next decade in Europe.

Biden praised Turkey as a regional energy hub in a speech at the closing session of the sixth Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit in Istanbul.

The summit has brought together world leaders to debate critical global energy and geopolitical issues.

Referring to Turkey's potential growth in the energy sector and the global economy, the U.S. vice president said: "Turkey is the only country expected to show growth in the next decade in Europe."

He also addressed Russia and its alleged use of energy as a weapon to keep Europe in a stranglehold.

He said energy meant security in Europe and Russia was deliberately using energy as a weapon.

"Russian aggression in Ukraine shows there are multiple dimensions to Europe's security; one is hard military power, second is the use of energy as a weapon undermining the security of nations," Biden said.

He alleged Russia was using new weapons.

Biden said energy dependence on Russia was becoming a problem for many countries. "I do not believe Russia will remain a major source of energy supply in Europe," he added.

He also said Russia was using energy as a foreign-policy weapon against its neighbors and called it a unique moment for Europe to change its circumstances.

Biden called on European governments and commissions to work hand-in-hand with the private sector to ensure diversity in sources of renewable energy.

"To ensure energy security, Europe needs to diversify its resources and suppliers. If we can do it, we will benefit from economic growth, prosperity, and the market places for energy," he said.

The Atlantic Council Energy and Economic Summit began on Nov. 19 and hosted discussions on a variety of topics, including energy security, global energy outlook, demand and supply, oil and natural gas, energy finance and investments, and renewable energy sources.

After the closing session of the summit, Biden also received a group of Turkish non-governmental organizations.

The organizations voiced a desire for an "inclusive and pluralist Turkey that guarantees the rights and freedoms of its people, and which better practices the rule of law."

Biden is also expected to meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at Istanbul's historic Beylerbeyi Palace late Saturday.

The U.S. vice president will leave Turkey for Washington Sunday after a meeting with Istanbul-based Greek Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world’s Eastern Orthodox churches.

Last Modified: 2014-11-22 16:44:02
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