Richard Lugar: U.S. relations with Azerbaijan have promising future
Rich in oil and gas, Azerbaijan has great potential for increased energy exports. With Azerbaijan, we (the US - Trend) should continue to assist in opening a southern corridor for oil and gas transit to Europe, but also work with the Azerbaijan government to promote transparency in the energy industry and development of alternatives to oil and gas that will strengthen the countrys future, reportedly said Richard G. Lugar, chairman of Foreign relations committee, US Senate, speaking on hearing for nomination of Anne Derse to the post of US Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
В"Last August, I traveled to Azerbaijan where I met with President Aliyev. I discussed with him the opportunities and challenges facing his country and urged him to hold free and fair parliamentary electionsВ", - Lugar said.
Lugar also recalled the visit of President Ilham Aliyev to Washington. В"We had a candid conversation about democracy, the status of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and Azerbaijans relations with neighbors, including Russia and Iran. I emphasized that U.S. relations with Azerbaijan have a promising futureВ", - he added.
Azerbaijan is located in a tough neighborhood. I commend its efforts to interdict terrorists transiting its territory and to combat indigenous terrorists and terrorist financing.
В"After September 11, 2001, Azerbaijan quickly granted overflight rights and intelligence support to the United States and offered the use of its bases for Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. It was also among the countries that supported Operation Iraqi Freedom. It was also among the countries that supported Operation Iraqi FreedomВ", - US Senator said.
In addition, Lugar said of Anne Derse, mentioning her as a distinguished Foreign Service Officer with more than a quarter century of experience. She most recently served as Director for Biodefense Policy at the Homeland Security Council. Prior to that, her assignments have included service as Minister Counselor for Economic Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Iraq and at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. Ms. Derse also has held posts in the Philippines, South Korea, Belgium, and Singapore, among other locations.