U.S. special envoy: Relations between US and Azerbaijan can be characterized as a combination of continuity and evolution
USA, Washington, November 10 /Trend, L.Katyk/
Relations between the U.S. and Azerbaijan can be characterized as a combination of continuity and evolution, the U.S. State Department special envoy for Eurasian energy issues Richard Morningstar said at the conference on "United States-Azerbaijan Relations: The State of the 'Strategic Partnership'" Tuesday in Washington.
"The Obama administration had no intention to reduce the level of relations with Azerbaijan, which have a long and good history," Morningstar said, recalling the work with Azerbaijan on the Baku - Ceyhan pipeline.
According to Morningstar, Azerbaijan remains a key country for energy issues and in a lot of bilateral and multilateral issues.
"The U.S. administration policy has always been to diversify the sources and routes of energy supply in the Caspian region and Central Asia, which we actually did," he said.
"Diversification and diversity bring security," Morningstar stressed.
According to Morningstar, the U.S. supports the opening of a new Southern corridor to supply natural gas to Europe.
"Prospects for obtaining energy for this route seems more promising," Morningstar said.
"We hope that after the progress with the forming of the Iraqi government, after a while, gas will enter the South Corridor from there, too," said Morningstar, noting that it will bring important benefits to Iraq.
First of all, business requirements will determine the project's importance, he said, noting an important role of Azerbaijan in energy supplies to the Southern corridor.
According to Morningstar, the energy security of Europe is as important to U.S. national interests, as the U.S. energy security is important for Europeans.
"We must be also prepared for changes in the energy market new energy sources are developing," the special envoy said.
Morningstar noted the recent developments related to escalation of global crisis and the oversaturation of the global energy market in natural gas.
In this connection he drew attention to the fact that the production of shale gas in the U.S. could change the nature of the energy market.
"The price for liquefied natural gas is now a third of costs of gas produced from the tube and it may happen that the U.S. will become a gas exporter with the development of shale gas," Morningstar said.
In his view, this situation creates both opportunities and risks in the markets.
The Jamestown Foundation and the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute held a conference on "United States-Azerbaijan Relations: The State of the 'Strategic Partnership'" in Washington on Nov. 9.
U.S. Special Envoy for Eurasian Energy Richard Morningstar, leading U.S. political scientist and former National Security Adviser to the U.S. President Zbigniew Brzezinski, Jamestown Foundation President Glen E. Howard, Jamestown Foundation Senior Fellow Vladimir Socor, Azerbaijani Presidential Center for Strategic Studies Director Elkhan Nuriyev, and Central-Asia Caucasus Institute Chairman Frederick Starr addressed the conference.