Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev received a delegation led by Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs at the U.S. Department of State Amos Hochstein in Baku on December 15, Azertac reported.
The Azerbaijan-U.S. relations were hailed at the meeting. The sides noted that the bilateral ties were successfully developing, and expressed confidence that they will further expand. Prospects for energy cooperation were also discussed.
Energy cooperation between the countries is among the areas of top priority. The U.S. has repeatedly expressed its strong diplomatic and political support to the Southern Gas Corridor project, as economically strong and more energy-secure Europe is in the interest of the United States. The project represents an important contribution to global energy security which is critical to sustaining economic growth. The United States sees the importance of the project in this wider context.
The Azerbaijani President earlier hailed U.S. backing of the project during his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, saying that it would have needed more time and effort to get the project going without strong U.S. support.
Hochstein earlier called the project a “long-standing priority for the U.S. government”, mentioning that the scalability of the project is one of its major features.
The project will provide Europe with a new source and route of supply for natural gas, which is one of Europe’s main sources of energy.
Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Natig Aliyev earlier noted the importance of the high-level representation of the United States at the 3rd consultative council of ministers on the SGC project, mentioning that the high level participation of the country will give a strong political support to the project.
After Azerbaijan gained independence in 1991, Washington established diplomatic relations with Baku in 1992. The two countries enjoy a strong strategic partnership founded on shared values and interests. The U.S. is one of the largest investors in Azerbaijan.
The two countries are represented in a number of the same international organizations, including the United Nations, Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, International Monetary Fund, and World Bank. Azerbaijan also is an observer to the Organization of American States and the World Trade Organization and a participant in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) Partnership for Peace program.
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