The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan hosted the signing ceremony in the presence of prime ministers of the four partners. On behalf of Romania, Emil Boc attended the event.

Nabucco project which involves the construction of a natural gas pipeline will deliver up to 31 billion cubic meters annually, from Central Asia to Europe, via Turkey and the Balkans.

Apart from the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, Mihail Saakasvili, Georgia’s President, a representative of Azerbaidjanului and Richard Morningstar, US special envoy for Eurasian energy issues, attended the ceremony.

Nabucco project launched in 2002 is intended to become operational in 2014, and its costs are estimated at 7.9 billion euros.

Before signing, Erdogan stressed that “work is not over with the signing. On the contrary it is only the beginning”. “This agreement is a very important result, but we must admit that many things still need to be done”, said Morningstar.

Turkmenistan, a natural gas-rich country vowed support to Nabucco project on Friday, saying it was ready to provide gas for the gas pipeline. Europeans still wait for the green light from key-countries, such as Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan.

Nabucco rivals South Stream project developed by Gazprom and Italian-based ENI, which will link Russia to Bulgaria under the Black Sea.