Preparations Under Way for First Meeting of Azerbaijan – Turkmenistan Commission: Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 January/corr. Trend S. Agayeva/ The first meeting of the Azerbaijani-Turkmenistan inter-government commission on economic cooperation will begin on 17 January in Ashgabat.
The experts from the two governments are working on the agenda of the meeting and the outlines of the documents are scheduled to be signed as a result of the meeting, Elkhan Huseynov, the ambassador of Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan said in a telephone interview from Ashgabat on 14 January.
The delegation from Azerbaijan headed by first deputy premier Yagub Eyubov will visit Ashgabat to take part in the meeting. The delegation includes the deputies of the foreign and finance minister, the representatives of the National Bank of Azerbaijan and others dignatories.
All aspects of the economic cooperation, especially in the oil and gas sector are expected to be discussed at the meeting, the ambassador said. The agenda is expected to include the regulation of the debt of Azerbaijan to Turkmenistan, negotiations of which were restored this year, a source stated to Trend in the Government of Azerbaijan.
The debt appeared in 1991-1992 and its amount will be cemented during the negotiations. Baku believes that Azerbaijan's debt for the purchase of the Turkmenistan gas was USA $18 bln. However Turkmenistan insists that it is USA $56 bln, taking into consideration interest payments.
Turkmenistan has not taken into consideration the goods sent from Azerbaijan in the early 1900's in exchange of the purchased gas, as they were lost during the journey. Official Baku considers that Azerbaijan does not hold responsibility for the loss. The Ministry of Finance of Azerbaijan believes that to reach a compromise, the payment of interest must be discussed.