The Republic of Congo wants to take advantage of Azerbaijan's experience in green energy - foreign minister (Exclusive interview) (PHOTO)

Green Economy Materials 3 April 2024 08:00 (UTC +04:00)
The Republic of Congo wants to take advantage of Azerbaijan's experience in green energy - foreign minister (Exclusive interview) (PHOTO)
Laman Zeynalova
Laman Zeynalova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, April 3. The Republic of Congo wants to take advantage of Azerbaijan's experience in green energy, Jean-Claude Gakosso, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Congo, said in an exclusive interview with Trend, as he visited Baku.

"Azerbaijan boasts significant expertise in green energy initiatives. In Congo, we are endowed with the powerful Congo River—the second largest river in terms of flow, after the Amazon, and the second longest in Africa after the Nile. This river traverses both the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, presenting immense potential for hydroelectric energy generation. Leveraging Azerbaijan's experience in hydrography-based green energy, we aim to harness this potential by constructing micro-hydroelectric dams for electricity distribution and agricultural irrigation," he said.

Gakosso also touched upon the prospects for cooperation in the sphere of agriculture.

"With fertile land and abundant rainfall—eight months out of twelve—we possess the capacity for agricultural production. However, our agricultural sector requires mechanization to reach its full potential. This presents an area where partnerships can flourish, and we look to Azerbaijan's experience in agricultural mechanization for guidance," noted the minister.

Purpose of the visit

Gakosso pointed out that his country wants to build a mutually beneficial cooperation with Azerbaijan.

"Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the Republic of Congo has primarily maintained relations with the Russian Federation, Belarus, and Ukraine among the former Soviet republics, with minimal engagement with the republics of the Caucasus and Central Asia. However, as the global landscape evolves, our nations are now seeking to diversify cooperation. With both Azerbaijan and Congo being oil and gas producing countries and sharing similar population sizes—10 million for Azerbaijan and 6 million for Congo—we have identified commonalities that encourage the establishment of a win-win partnership. Hence, the main purpose of my visit to Baku," he said.

Furthermore, the minister announced that accompanied by a sizable delegation, President of the Republic of Congo Denis Sassou Nguesso is embarking on a visit to Azerbaijan.

Cooperation in oil and gas sector

Gakosso talked about the opportunities for establishing solid partnership between the state oil companies of the two countries.

"Congo stands as one of Africa's old oil producers, albeit not a major one. Large companies such as TotalEnegies, Eni, Chevron, and Halliburton exploit offshore oil fields in our territory. We aim to enhance trade between Azerbaijan's state oil company, SOCAR, and the National Petroleum Company of Congo (Société Nationale des Pétroles de Congo - SNPC), recognizing the potential for mutual growth in our partnership. At this juncture, I refrain from assessing the cooperation with Azerbaijan, as we are in the nascent stages of its commencement. Our intent is to initiate this collaboration through a robust partnership between our respective national oil entities, SNPC and SOCAR.

During a productive meeting with Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister, Jeyhun Bayramov, we engaged in an amicable exchange of perspectives. As politicians, we have agreed that such endeavors must be underpinned by a solid diplomatic relationship," he added.

Balanced diplomacy and international cooperation

The minister noted that much like Azerbaijan, the Republic of Congo maintains balanced relationships with Russia, the United States, China, and the European Union.

"Azerbaijan similarly engages in trade with Russia, China, Türkiye, and other neighboring countries. During discussions with my Azerbaijani counterpart, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, we have agreed to mutually support each other in international organizations. Whether Azerbaijan or Congo is a candidate in any international body, reciprocal support will be extended. As we stand at the threshold of cooperation, I am optimistic that our joint efforts will yield fruitful outcomes in the years to come," he concluded.

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