EU to benefit from cheap gas imports

EU to benefit from cheap gas imports

EUpolitix, Belgium
May 19 2004

European consumers should be able to benefit from cheap gas imports
from Azerbaijan in five or six years time, the country’s leader
has predicted.

The delivery of Azerbaijani gas to Turkey and to Europe in large
quantities would ensure “an alternative and cheap supply” for European
customers, President Ilham Aliyev told a meeting of the Brussels-based
think tank, the European Policy Centre.

“In five or six years, Azerbaijani gas in big quantities will be
supplied to Europe,” he said, commenting that this would be even more
important for consumers than the country’s burgeoning oil industry.

“We will allow our neighbours and friends to benefit,” he assured.

Aliyev, on a two day diplomatic visit to the EU’s Brussels
headquarters, stressed Baku’s “strategic choice” to pursue closer
ties with Europe.

“Our relations with the EU are developing very successfully.
Azerbaijan has a strategically committed to a policy of integration
into European structures.”

EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said on Tuesday he expected
the EU’s relationship with the former Soviet state to increase,
specifically in the field of energy.

The country, along with Caucasus neighbours Armenia and Georgia was
recently added by the European Commission to its ‘New Neighbourhood’
policy, which seeks closer relations with countries around the newly
expanded EU.

Aliyev used a Tuesday meeting with European Commission chief Romano
Prodi to appeal to the EU to help find a solution to a ten year
territorial dispute with Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region.

“We hope that the EU, other international organisations and the OSCE
[Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe] will play a more
active role and allow the people of Azerbaijan to come back,” he said.

Although the two republics have signed a ceasefire, no political
solution has been found to end the bitter dispute over the enclave,
which makes up around five per cent of the area of Azerbaijan.

Nagorno-Karabakh, a territory which falls entirely within Azerbaijan
and is populated by Christian ethnic Armenians, broke away from Baku
when the Soviet Union collapsed.

A five year war over the land claimed around 35 000 lives and created
around one million refugees.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS