Baku. 27 August. REPORT.AZ/ “Washington Times” published an article by Nasimi Aghayev, Azerbaijan’s Consul General in Los Angeles. Titled “The Western flow of Caspian natural gas: Europe energy landscape stands to brighten,” the article highlights Azerbaijan’s strong contributions to Europe’s energy security and independence, Report informs.
Speaking of the Southern Gas Corridor that will deliver Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe from 2019 on, Consul General Aghayev notes: “The Southern Gas Corridor pipeline and production projects, as well as the construction of the related infrastructure representing a total investment of approximately $45 billion, will not only bring secure energy, but also create tens of thousands of jobs in countries along the route, further strengthening Europe’s economic recovery.”
He further writes: “Azerbaijan has been a reliable energy partner with the West for more than 20 years now…Since 2006, it has pumped nearly a million barrels of crude oil each day through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to Europe, the U.S. and Israel, and much-needed natural gas through the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline.”
Highlighting Azerbaijan’s geopolitical importance, Aghayev mentions: “Azerbaijan’s importance also lies in its vital geostrategic location, as a gateway to the oil and gas wealth of Central Asia. Without Azerbaijan, these resources will be locked away from Europe. Under the proposed plan however, Europe can look to a reliable source of reserves and begin to achieve real energy diversification and independence.”
Stressing Azerbaijan’s remarkable modernization and social-economic development, the Consul General notes that today the country accounts “for almost 80 percent of the region’s economy and playing an instrumental role in all regional and trans-regional projects”. Speaking of the challenges faced, Aghayev writes: “In addition to the regional geopolitical complications, the country also faces aggression from Armenia, which has illegally occupied Azerbaijan’s Karabakh region since 1994 despite international condemnation.”
Noting the country’s rapid transformation since the restoration of its independence, Aghayev mentions: “Under President Ilham Aliyev, the country has vigorously reinvested the wealth and benefits of its “black gold” into every level of society, and is now using this enormous resource to support humanitarian projects all over the globe.”
In conclusion, the Consul General notes: “Azerbaijan is also building on a long legacy of tolerance and openness to the wider world. A staunchly secular Muslim-majority state, Azerbaijan has also embraced its flourishing, long-established Jewish and Christian communities, and continues to serve as a model of modern multiculturalism and interfaith harmony for the wider region. It is this cultural diversity and strong traditions of tolerance and inclusion, which are Azerbaijan’s other energy source, one no less potent than its oil and gas.”