Ilham Aliyev: Europe to become main market for Azerbaijani gas

The cooperation in energy sphere is one of the most important parts of relations between Azerbaijan and the EU, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said on Friday at the joint press conference in Brussels, with the president of European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, the EU official website reported.


"I am very glad that after we, with president Barroso, signed a declaration of stategic cooperation in energy sphere in Baku in the beginning of 2011, we started to see practical results. That declaration played a key role in implementation of the Southern Gas corridor project. I'd like to express my personal gratitude to president Barrosso and his team for active involvement and coordination in this process," Ilham Aliyev noted.


He went on to say that this project will create even stronger ties between Europe and Azerbaijan.


"It is a win-win situation: Azerbaijan will find a predictable, regulated market in Europe, and Europe will get an alternative source of Caspian gas from Azerbaijan," Ilham Aliyev said. "Hopefully the volume of Azerbaijani gas that is to be transported to Europe, will not be limited by the Shah Deniz 2 project, because we have more than 2 trillion cm of proven gas reserves."


Azerbaijani President further spoke of the Southern Gas Corridor project, noting that this project is of energy security, and it will change the energy map of Europe and also create additional opportunities for Azerbaijan and other regional countries, to get more benefits from economic cooperation.


"I think the issues that we've identified, broadly show how substantive our agenda is - regional cooperation, security, political reforms, democratic processes, energy cooperation. All of these elements create very good grounds to elevate our relations to a higher level. Azerbaijan is interested in that, and we want to be as close as possible to Europe, and we're glad that we see the same approach from the European side," Ilham Aliyev said.