Ilham Aliyev: Energy security cannot be considered apart from national security
The head of state noted that high-level relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey are developing and bilateral cooperation in the energy sector is going on successfully, APA reports.
Azerbaijan is successfully implementing major energy projects with Turkey, the president said.
“Azerbaijan is the first country where oil was extracted in the mid-nineteenth century. Afterwards in the mid-twentieth century oil extraction began in Absheron. And now, in the twenty first century, we are implementing the Southern Gas Corridor project, much of which has already been realized thanks to the active participation of Azerbaijan and Turkey. I’m talking about the project that links Azerbaijan and Turkey, and the Caspian and the Mediterranean. This is a historical event. I would also note the gas pipeline which connects Turkey with Azerbaijan. So we became not only an oil-rich country but also an oil exporter,” President Aliyev said.
The implementation of both projects began a decade ago, the president said, noting that their operation allows both countries to sell more oil and gas and our partners to use alternative energy sources.
As is known, the Caspian Sea does not have access to the ocean. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan is the only country that is able to deliver its resources to parts of the world, according to the head of state.
“We are glad that we began working with our partners in 1994 and this partnership is going on successfully now. The partnership between our countries and friends allowed us to implement these projects successfully,” he said, expressing hope for the successful implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor.
“I would like to express gratitude to President Erdogan for the support and jointly moving toward a same direction. We have good investors,” said the president.
President Aliyev, expressing gratitude to US President Barack Obama for the support the US provided in the implementation of the projects, noted that without this support, it would have been impossible to achieve success in the mid-1990s.
The president also thanked British Prime Minister Cameron. “The UK has been the largest investor in Azerbaijan for over 20 years and this enabled us to develop our partnership in investment and other fields,” he said.
Meanwhile, the head of state expressed gratitude to his friend Renzi, stressing that Italy will continue to be the largest importer of the gas. “This project will give us an opportunity to enter the markets of other countries through Italy”.
The president underlined that investments worth 45 billion dollars will allow to create a common gas network for the delivery of gas extracted in the Caspian Sea on-shore.
“The gas passing through Georgia and Turkey will be delivered to Greece, Bulgaria, and then Albania, and finally to Italy through the Adriatic Sea. This project requires the coordination of efforts of governments and companies of relevant countries and we are already foreseeing the results of this coordination and cooperation”, said President Aliyev.
Azerbaijan’s proven gas reserves are about 2.6 trillion cubic meters while its potential reserves are estimated at nearly 5 trillion cubic meters, the president said, noting that this volume is sufficient for us, our neighbors and European consumers at least 100 years.
President Aliyev said this is a project of energy security, stressing that today, the issue of energy security can not be considered apart from the country’s national security.
“This is a diversification project. In this case, this means not only the diversification of routes – although this is important – but also that of sources. In this respect, our route is new for Europe and it will fully change the energy map of Europe. Azerbaijan has already proved to be a reliable partner,” the head of state added.
“Of course, we must protect the interests of transit, consumer and producer countries,” the president said, noting that to achieve these goals, there is a need to create favorable conditions for all parties.