President Aliyev says Azerbaijan, EU energy co-op successful

By: Nigar Orujova

Azerbaijan and European Union are successfully developing their energy cooperation, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said at a meeting with a delegation led by Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic.

Noting that relations between the two sides are of special importance, Sefcovic said he was interested in expanding these ties even further.

He stressed the importance of cooperation with Azerbaijan in the energy sector, adding the agreement on the Southern Gas Corridor was of strategic importance.

The head of state congratulated Sefcovic on his appointment as the Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union, and described his visit to Azerbaijan shortly after this appointment as a good sign of the importance of bilateral relationship.

President Aliyev expressed his satisfaction with the active and dynamic continuation of relations between his country and European institutions.

The president touched upon the visits of the presidents of the European Commission and the Council of the European Union to Azerbaijan, and emphasized the significance of the high-level visits in terms of the expansion of the cooperation.

Saying that Azerbaijan and the European Union signed a framework agreement and the Memorandum of Understanding on a strategic partnership in the field of energy, President Aliyev noted that much work has been done on the Southern Gas Corridor project.

The president described this project as a new format of cooperation between two sides and stressed the necessity of ensuring fruitful coordination for its timely implementation.

Azerbaijan, EU trade cooperation

“European Union is one of the major trade partners of our country, Azerbaijan plays an important role in ensuring energy security of Europe and a number of projects are being implemented in the energy sector”, Economy and Industry Minister Shahin Mustafayev said during a meeting with Maros Sefcovic.

Mustafayev spoke of bilateral relations between the two countries and congratulated Sefcovic on his new appointment, wishing him success.

He noted that the share of EU’s member states in Azerbaijan’s foreign trade turnover was 44 percent in 2013 and 48 percent in 2014.

Up to now, Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, Action Plan within the framework of the European Neighborhood Policy, East Partnership Initiative and other important documents have been signed between Azerbaijan and the European Union.

Visa facilitation and readmission agreements have come into force between Azerbaijan and EU, since September 1. Twinning, TAIEX, Sigma, Budget Support plays an important role in the development of relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union. Since 2012, more than 60 business forums and other events were held in Azerbaijan attended by representatives of European Union countries.

Mustafayev also highlighted the socio-economic development in the country and its role in region, and noted the creation of a favorable business and investment climate, health and education projects in Azerbaijan.

Maros Sefcovic said that they were interested in expanding cooperation between Azerbaijan and EU.

The event also discussed the reasons behind a delay in finding a solution for the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh that has impeded regional integration.