Model of strategic co-op for benefit of wider region: summary of President Ilham Aliyev and PM Irakli Garibashvili's talks in Gabala

Politics Materials 8 April 2023 10:50 (UTC +04:00)
Model of strategic co-op for benefit of wider region: summary of President Ilham Aliyev and PM Irakli Garibashvili's talks in Gabala
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
Read more

BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 8. High-level mutual visits between Azerbaijan and Georgia have become regular for a long time. And this is not accidental. After all, both countries, especially today, in an era of conflict and fragmentation, understand that it is necessary to strengthen ties with their closest neighbors. Therefore, the visit of Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili to the city of Gabala, which took place yesterday, once again confirms the two countries' focus on deepening both bilateral cooperation and interaction in the global arena.

Azerbaijan and Georgia, linked by long-term fraternal ties, are now also united by numerous projects in various spheres of the economy and society. However, amid a large-scale global crisis, which led to significant changes in energy and transport sectors globally, the South Caucasus, and Georgia and Azerbaijan in particular, have acquired enormous importance.

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Prime Minister of Georgia, President Ilham Aliyev stressed that Georgia and Azerbaijan are countries that play an important role in European energy security today, and this role is gradually growing.

"Of course, the friendly relations between us and cooperation in this field are a great contribution to Europe's energy security. The export of Azerbaijani natural gas to Europe is increasing by the year. As a whole, this year, Azerbaijan will export 24.5 billion cubic meters of gas to world markets, and this figure is increasing year by the year," President Ilham Aliyev said.

And, indeed, Georgia's role in this sense is very important, because one of the main pipelines, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), passes through its territory, and increasing its capacity will be of paramount importance for increasing Azerbaijani gas supplies to Europe. Azerbaijan also plans to increase exports via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. In addition, it is planned to start using the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline.

One of the last key steps taken by Azerbaijan to launch the exports of green energy to Europe was the signing of the "Agreement on Strategic Partnership in the Field of development and Transmission of Green Energy", which Georgia also joined. All these steps will play a huge role in strengthening the energy security of Western countries, thanks to the joint efforts of Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Cooperation in various transport projects between the two countries has always been one of the main directions of bilateral relations.

Azerbaijan has long become a regional transport and logistics hub, thanks to which the countries of Central Asia, for example, acquire convenient routes for the supply of their goods to Europe. The joint work of Azerbaijan and Georgia in this direction is doubly effective and will lead to the fact that the former routes will finally lose their relevance.

At yesterday's press conference in Gabala, Prime Minister Garibashvili noted the coordinated work of the two countries within the framework of the Trans-Caspian Transport Route (TMTM), better known as the Middle Corridor, and stated that, in the near future, the goal is to eliminate all obstacles and jointly develop the infrastructure within the project.

"It is known that Georgia is also a reliable transit country and transit partner. As mentioned by Mr. President, we continue this activity and do not stop. As you may know, we will lay an electric cable under the Black Sea. We are developing the issue of the Middle Corridor. We have a huge potential to transport green energy to Europe, which has great prospects. This is a future. Both countries will invest more in this area. We have discussed that too," he said.

President Ilham Aliyev noted in this regard that great opportunities are opening up for the transportation of new goods along the Middle Corridor.

"All administrative issues should be resolved, the tariff policy should be resolved from a single perspective. At the same time, joint effort should be made to attract and transport cargo. Of course, this issue has been and will be extensively discussed today," President Ilham Aliyev pointed out.

Azerbaijan and Georgia are indeed a model not only of good-neighborly relations, but also an example of how the two countries can create a common energy and transport infrastructure, thanks to which it is possible to benefit not only themselves, but also to help their more distant neighbors. Looking into the future, President Ilham Aliyev has always attached great importance to the development of relations with his closest neighbors for the benefit of the wider region. The joint steps that by both the countries are going to take will greatly contribute to the growth of the importance of the entire South Caucasus region in a global sense.