ASTANA, Kazakhstan, July 12 (UPI) -- The International Energy Agency said at a conference in Kazakhstan it recognizes the important role of the Caspian region in global energy markets.
IEA Deputy Executive Director Richard Jones met with regional delegates in the Kazakh capital to discuss energy technology and the best practices in the renewable energy field.
Delegates included representatives from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Azerbaijan is emerging as a regional oil and natural gas powerhouse. Members of the European Union are looking at Azerbaijan's natural gas, specifically, as a way to break the Russian grip on the regional energy sector.
Jones, in a statement, said the IEA "acknowledges the increasing role of the Caspian region ... in the global energy markets and stands ready to share its energy policy experience with countries in the region."
Clashes between security forces and demonstrators followed oil strikes in Kazakhstan in December. At least 15 people were killed.
The IEA added that the meeting's agenda was centered on the important role that knowledge-sharing had on sustainable development goals.