Azerbaijan, Baku, 30 May / Trend E.Aliyev /
Ensuring energy security and security of appropriate infrastructure is a very important part of bilateral cooperation, U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Richard Morningstar said speaking at the final session of the Azerbaijani-U.S. Forum "Looking to the Future."
"Soon a selection between the two routes of supply of Azerbaijani gas - Nabucco West and TAP, will be made. The point is not which route will be chose, but in the fact of creating the conditions for the supply of Azerbaijani gas to Europe and stopping the dependance of European partners on a single source of gas supplies," the ambassador underscored.
Morningstar expressed hope that after 2020 Azerbaijan will become an even greater gas supplier.
He said that the relationships between the U.S. and Azerbaijan over the past 20 years have adopted a character of strategic partnership.
"Our common views on security define the strategic landscape of the whole Caspian region. For many years we have been in a joint fight against terrorism. We follow common goals. Azerbaijan supports us in the issues of global security, Azerbaijani soldiers shoulder to shoulder with the U.S. soldiers carry duty in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan. Azerbaijani side carries out trainings for Afghan administration, which in 2014 will get full responsibility for the occurring events," the diplomat noted.
According to Morningstar, everyone perfectly understand how important are the relations between Azerbaijan and the United States from the strategic viewpoint.
"The policy of the United States after the collapse of the Soviet Union was to support and assist the countries that gained independence. Confronting global and regional challenges with these new states on the basis of constructive co-operation was a very correct approach. As for Azerbaijan, I want to reiterate that the U.S. needs a strong Azerbaijan that is able to defend its own interests", he said.
According to Morningstar, there is great potential for economic and political cooperation.
"The realization of this potential depends on the political and economic reforms. Azerbaijan should increase investment in human capital through education and health care systems. Measures to fight corruption taken in recent years, should be strengthened. Women need to be more active as participants in society. As ambassador I do, and will do everything to strengthen cooperation between the U.S. and Azerbaijan," he added.