BAKU, Azerbaijan, Jan. 15
By Leman Zeynalova – Trend:
The year 2020 promises to be the year of pipeline diversity and Azerbaijan will play a leading role in ensuring that consumers in the broader Middle East and Europe benefit from clean gas, Rob Sobhani, a famous US expert, CEO of Caspian Group Holdings, told Trend.
“Although the year 2020 has started with a possible war between the regime in Iran and the US, this has enhanced the importance of Azerbaijan as a reliable, friendly, responsible and dynamic country within the region,” the US expert said. “The geopolitical importance of Azerbaijan has enhanced in these first few weeks of 2020 thanks to President Aliyev’s wise leadership that has put a premium on making friends on the global stage and acting responsibly.”
Assessing the ongoing developments this year, Sobhani said that he is also very optimistic about movement towards a possible solution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
The expert noted that presidents of the OSCE Minsk Group co-chair countries are ready to play a constructive role in the conflict’s settlement.
“I assure you also that Azerbaijan will be recognized in 2020 as a leading country in the fight against climate change,” Sobhani added. “First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva has put Azerbaijan on the map - once again - by making tree planting a main focus on our work. The world will applaud these moves by Mehriban Aliyeva.”
Answering a question about serious reforms carried out by Azerbaijan in 2019 and the work done by the Azerbaijani government so that Azerbaijan’s economy would be ready for the future challenges, Sobhani said that the major beneficiary of President Aliyev’s reforms are the people of Azerbaijan.
“These historic and lasting reforms will lay the foundation for stable economic growth within Azerbaijan for many years to come,” the US expert noted. “It should also be noted that these reforms will expand the Middle Class within Azerbaijan and further reduce poverty. According to the World Bank Azerbaijan is one of the few countries in the world that has brought its poverty level down significantly. This is all thanks to President Aliyev’s dedication to eradicating poverty and creating a good wholesome life for all the people of Azerbaijan.”
Sobhani stressed that these reforms will also unleash the creative genius of the Azerbaijani people, expressing confidence that as a result of these reforms, young Azerbaijani men and women will create new businesses and some will become global bands such as Menzer Hajiyeva.
Commenting on the launch of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), which is the longest part of the Southern Gas Corridor, in late 2019, the expert said that Azerbaijani gas has become much closer to the European market.
“TANAP will further enhance the image and stature of Azerbaijan on the global stage,” Sobhani noted. “Specifically, TANAP will demonstrate to the world the importance of Azerbaijan in the global energy equation: a reliable, long-term partner that Europe and the broader Middle East can depend on for uninterrupted deliveries of energy from the Caspian Sea basin. It also means more revenues into the Azerbaijani Oil Fund which will be invested in strategic locations and companies for the long-term benefit of the country.”
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