Azerbaijan key to energy diversity

Jan. 14, 2009 at 11:43 AM

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15 (UPI) -- Azerbaijan is positioned strategically with the necessary infrastructure to advance the diversification of the European energy sector, officials said.

"We have already reached all major objectives in our country," said Azeri President Ilham Aliyev. "We have diversified transportation energy. I am confident that the relationship between Azerbaijan and European consumers will develop further."

The president pledged to his colleagues in the oil and gas sector that Azerbaijan would remain an important ally in the region, the Trend Capital News agency reported.

"Our partners can be assured that Azerbaijan will continue to play an important role in the future as a reliable partner and friend," he said.

He pointed to the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the world's second longest, and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum Pipeline, or South Caucasus artery, as signs Azerbaijan and Caspian suppliers changed the dynamics of the regional energy sector.

His comments came during a meeting with Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves on the Azeri conflict over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Ilves assured his counterpart the countries were important partners in the political and economic realm.

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