Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.1
The person who opposed the Shah Deniz project in Azerbaijani leadership at the time, has fled the country long ago, said Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev Sept.1.
He made the remarks talking with the participants of Shah Deniz Stage 2 Production and Risers Platform Jacket Sail Away Event.
“Yes, that is another story. When the agreement on Shah Deniz project was signed, some opposed this. At that time, President Heydar Aliyev held a meeting. He invited us – Khoshbakht Yusifzade, me and other vice-presidents,” said Ilham Aliyev. “He asked each of us whether we really shouldn’t sign it. That time, there was a person in the Azerbaijani leadership who was opposing this. He has fled Azerbaijan long ago. However, the reason of his objection has become clear only now. Back then, he launched a very large campaign against the Shah Deniz project.”
“National Leader Heydar Aliyev was of course well aware that we should sign the agreement on Shah Deniz project. But he invited all of us to discuss the issue. He invited all heads of the State Oil Company, heads of government, Milli Mejlis [parliament], so that they would voice their disagreement. No argument was put forward against the Shah Deniz project. We all expressed our position. We said that the agreement on this project should be definitely signed, as it is of vital importance for Azerbaijan. At that time, being in an isolated position, that individual – it would be more correct if I say so – was very disappointed, and left the meeting. Approximately, after two or three months after this, he left Azerbaijan forever,” said Ilham Aliyev.
“That’s to say, the formation of the Shah Deniz project was not so easy. Why he did this? Didn’t he understand that this will bring benefits to Azerbaijan? He understood, but didn’t want Azerbaijan to develop. He wanted the situation to deteriorate, so that to get even higher position,” said the president.
Here is the Shah Deniz project, said the president, adding that thousands, tens of thousands Azerbaijani citizens work, earn money within this project.
Azerbaijan is turning into even a more significant country on a global scale, significant amount of currencies have been received and will be received, he added.
“Additional 16 billion cubic meters of gas will be exported as a result of launching the Shah Deniz 2 project. If there was no Shah Deniz project, no one would invest in the Absheron project, Umid field. Who would lay this 3,500 kilometers long gas pipeline? Who would invest $45 billion?!” said Ilham Aliyev.
“Had enemies of Azerbaijan, people who betrayed us, prevailed in 1996, we wouldn’t have all this,” he added.