the details were added (the first version as posted at 11:21)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 17
By Seymur Aliyev - Trend:
"Today is a historic day in the history of modern Azerbaijan, Azerbaijani President Ilham said at the signing ceremony of the final investment decision on the project of the second phase of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field development in Baku today.
"The final investment decision on the Shah Deniz 2 energy project will provide long term successful economic development of our country," President Aliyev said.
The president stressed that the Shah Deniz-2 is one of the biggest energy projects in the world.
"It is a project of energy security, energy diversification, project of broad international cooperation between countries and companies involved in this historic project," President Aliyev said.
"But today, I would like to go 19 years back, to 1994, when Azerbaijani energy strategy was launched," President Aliyev said.
"It was the wisdom, the vision and courage of our late president Heydar Aliyev that made it possible," the president said. "Only after three years of regaining independence, and only after one year, after the end of civil war in Azerbaijan and only after four months, after the ceasefire in the war with Armenia, Azerbaijan together with the foreign partners signed the Contract of the Century. It opened the Caspian sea, for the first time, for foreign investments, which provided successful economic development of our country."
"That was the contract of the 20th century," the president said. "Shah Deniz probably will be called the contract of the 21st century. But before we came to today's ceremony, there were several milestones in the history of development of independent Azerbaijan. "In 1996 the contract on Shah Deniz was signed, then in 1999 the first pipeline connecting the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea from Baku to the Black Sea coast in Georgia was built."
"Then Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was built in May 2006, which for the first time connected the Caspian Sea with international markets, including the Mediterranean market," the president said.
"In 2007 the South Caspian gas pipeline was built, which connected Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey with the new gas pipeline, which is part of today's ceremony," he said.
"In 2011 Azerbaijan and European Union signed a memorandum on strategic energy cooperation which also facilitated the development of the energy strategy of Azerbaijan, energy diversification and gas supplies to Europe," he said.
"In 2012 we signed a historic agreement with Turkey on Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP)," he added. "This year, in 2013, Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) was selected as the main export route. Now we are signing a final investment decision on Shah Deniz as well."