BAKU, Azerbaijan, May 9. Heydar Aliyev [Azerbaijani national leader] laid the foundation of making Azerbaijan one of the world's most reliable exporters of oil and gas, the US expert, CEO of Caspian Group Holdings Rob Sobhani told Trend.
According to Sobhani, the far-sighted strategy of Heydar Aliyev played an important and unique role in transforming Azerbaijan into an economically and politically strong country with a powerful army.
He said that Heydar Aliyev was a wise leader who understood that an economically strong Azerbaijan integrated into the global economy will be able to not only become a global player in energy markets but also lay the foundation for a strong army that would eventually liberate the country’s territories from Armenian occupation [in the 2020 second Karabakh war].
The expert stressed that under Heydar Aliyev’s leadership the GDP of Azerbaijan was increased from $1.2 billion to $8 billion.
"In fact, it was Heydar Aliyev's wise and visionary leadership that allowed for Azerbaijan to become a hub for Caspian Sea energy development and transportation," Sobhani noted. "By opening his country to foreign investment Heydar Aliyev provided the stable environment for companies such as BP to risk their capital and to create a mutually beneficial production sharing agreement."
"Heydar Aliyev understood that uninterrupted exploration, development, and transportation of oil and gas from Azerbaijan to markets in Europe were important to global energy security. For this reason, he instructed the team at SOCAR [State Oil Company of Azerbaijan] to negotiate an Agreement with energy companies," the expert said adding that as a result of signing the agreement Azerbaijan proved itself as the most reliable exporter of oil and gas to consumers across the world.
Sobhani also noted that when looking at the list of companies that signed a contract to develop Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli with Azerbaijan, a small model of the United Nations can be seen.
"This wise move by Heydar Aliyev to include the US, Europe, Turkey, Russia, Iran, and Japan into this historic contract shows that Heydar Aliyev was a true global statesman," the expert emphasized. "The importance of Heydar Aliyev's energy strategy is that it has provided Azerbaijan with a steady and reliable source of revenues and lowered poverty in Azerbaijan to below five percent according to the World Bank."
At present, Azerbaijan is strong, independent, economically dynamic and a global player and the foundation of this was laid due to the wise, forward-thinking and brave leadership of Heydar Aliyev, the architect of modern Azerbaijan, concluded Sobhani.