Azerbaijan to make every effort to build up multilateral cooperation for benefit of Caspian states people - Azerbaijani PM (PHOTO)

Politics Materials 6 October 2022 17:18 (UTC +04:00)
Azerbaijan to make every effort to build up multilateral cooperation for benefit of Caspian states people - Azerbaijani PM (PHOTO)

BAKU, Azerbaijan, October 6. The 2nd Caspian Economic Forum kicked off in Moscow, Russia on October 6, Trend reports.

Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Ali Asadov, First Vice-President of Iran Mohammad Mokhber, Prime Minister of Russia Mikhail Mishustin, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov and Chief of Cabinet of Ministers of Turkmenistan Khojamurad Geldimuradov participated in the event.

Participants of the forum held discussions in a narrow format, during which they summed up the results of the 6th Caspian Summit, held in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on June 29.

Then the plenary session of the 2nd Caspian Economic Forum took place.

Speaking at the meeting, Asadov said that cooperation with the Caspian states occupies a special place in Azerbaijan's foreign policy strategy.

He noted that the interaction of Caspian states is based on mutual consideration of interests, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence, as well as non-interference in each other's internal affairs.

Pointing to a solid contractual and legal framework for sectoral cooperation between Caspian states, Asadov said that it covers many areas, including security, trade and economic cooperation, transport, and environmental issues, as well as other areas of mutual interest.

In this regard, the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea, signed in Aktau city on August 12, 2018, was described as the basic document for the comprehensive cooperation of the Caspian countries, the conviction was expressed that its early entry into force would make a major contribution to further cooperation in the Caspian Sea on all directions.

Touching upon the economic indicators of Azerbaijan, Asadov noted that according to the results of eight months of this year, the country is experiencing economic growth, and positive dynamics in the field of foreign trade is maintained.

"It's gratifying that as the pandemic weakens, Azerbaijan's trade turnover with Caspian states also returned to the growth trajectory," he said,

Asadov added that Azerbaijan's trade turnover with the countries of the Caspian region increased by more than 45 percent over eight months of 2022.

Drawing attention to cooperation in the transport and transit sector, he noted that Azerbaijan's significant contribution to the implementation and development of the East-West and North-South International Transport Corridors that pass through the Caspian Sea.

"An annual increase in cargo transportation through the territory of Azerbaijan along the East-West and North-South corridors is observed. Thus, transit cargo transportation through Azerbaijan along the East-West corridor increased by 20 percent, and along the North-South route - by 33 percent in eight months of 2022, "Asadov said.

Azerbaijani Prime Minister called the Baku International Sea Trade Port a key link in these transport corridors, through which an annual increase in the volume of transit cargo is observed.

According to Asadov, the growing importance of the Caspian region as part of international transport corridors also implies the optimization of the role of seaports.

"In this regard, work is underway to increase the transshipment capacity of the Baku seaport from 15 to 25 million tons of cargo per year," he said.

Speaking about international transportation across the Caspian, Asadov focused on the problem of shallowing. He noted that Caspian states are faced with the need to take urgent measures to carry out permanent work to deepen the seabed. The necessity of solving this problem for the organization of full-fledged transportation of goods was emphasized.

The first trilateral meeting between Azerbaijan, Russia and Iran, held in Baku on September 9, was regarded as an important step for the development of the international North-South transport corridor.

"As a result of the meeting, the Baku Declaration was signed, in which the parties expressed their readiness to cooperate and assess the possibilities for bringing the level of transit along the North-South corridor to 15 million tons per year by 2030," Asadov stated.

The participants of the forum were informed about the capabilities of the civil cargo fleet of Azerbaijan, as well as the Baku Shipbuilding Plant, and it was brought to their attention that all the Caspian states can use its capabilities.

Azerbaijan's significant contribution to the efficient use of the Trans-Caspian international transport route was noted.

Asadov stressed that the new realities that have developed after the liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan make it possible to expand the possibilities of transport routes in the region.

"Today Azerbaijan is actively working on the development of regional transport and communication projects. In this sense, the opening of the Zangazur corridor is very important," he said.

The attention of the forum participants was also drawn to communication projects, within the framework of which an optical fiber cable is being laid from Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan along the bottom of the Caspian.

Recently the leading telecommunication operators of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan signed a memorandum on strategic partnership on the relevant project in Astana, Kazakhstan.

Asadov pointed out that there are great opportunities for the Caspian states to increase cooperation in the energy sector.

He noted the successful implementation of hydrocarbon production in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, adding that companies from Russia and Iran also participate in this process.

Asadov also added the agreement reached between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan on joint exploration and development of the Dostlug hydrocarbon field in the Caspian Sea.

It was brought to the attention that Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan use the transport and pipeline infrastructure of Azerbaijan for the transit of their energy resources.

Touching upon environmental issues, Asadov said that, sharing the concern of the Caspian states on this issue, Azerbaijan is making active efforts to minimize the negative impact on the environment of the Caspian Sea.

The 6th Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea is planned to be held in Baku in October.

The Prime Minister expressed Azerbaijan's readiness to continue to make every effort to build up multilateral cooperation for the benefit of the people of the Caspian states.

As a result of the plenary session, the Communique of the 2nd Caspian Economic Forum was signed.