President Aliyev: Serbia seen as active participant in BTK (UPDATE 2)
Baku, Azerbaijan, May 21
Serbia is seen as an active participant of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev.
President Aliyev made the remarks May 21 in Baku making press statements together with Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
Ilham Aliyev stressed that the economic cooperation occupies a big place among the issues discussed today.
"We highly appreciate the steps taken in this direction. However, we are absolutely sure that the existing trade turnover does not reflect our economic potential. There is a growth, but absolute indicators are still very low. That is why, I am sure the issues that have been discussed and are to be discussed during the visit will lead to an increase in the turnover in the future. There are good opportunities for that," the president noted.
President Aliyev further assessed prospects for cooperation in the energy sector as encouraging.
"This issue is reflected in the signed Action Plan,” he said. “Azerbaijan is an initiator and an active participant of giant energy projects. The Southern Gas Corridor Project has a special place among them.”
“In the next days, we will celebrate the completion of the Shah Deniz Stage 2 project,” the president said. “TANAP gas pipeline is to be commissioned the next month. Thus, the main projects of the Southern Gas Corridor will be completed."
“This is Azerbaijan's another contribution to energy security,” President Aliyev said. “This big energy project has had a positive impact on the settlement of issues of broad international cooperation. Presently, cooperation in the energy sector in our region is rising to a new level."
The president reminded that the ceremony of launching the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was held in Baku in October 2017.
"The railway is also of great importance,” he said. “Asia and Europe will be connected through Azerbaijan and other countries thanks to the beginning of the operation of the railway. This is the shortest way from Asia to Europe and back. Cargoes are already being sent via this railway and the volume of cargo will grow.”
“Of course, we also see Serbia as an active participant of this railway,” he added. “I think that our relevant structures can already begin negotiations on this issue for us to be able to increase the freight traffic. Thus, energy and transport projects being implemented upon the initiative of our country open up new possibilities for broad cooperation. This will give a momentum to the development of tourism, increase bilateral trade turnover and thus enhance stability, ensure security in our region, in the Eurasian area."