Books on Azerbaijan
Update No: 286- (28/10/04)
Azeri, Georgian sections of BTC pipeline joined on October
The most important venture by far for the Azeris is the pipeline to take its
Caspian Sea oil to world markets across Georgia and Turkey. The ceremony of
joining the Azerbaijani and Georgian sections of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC)
oil pipeline was held at the Boyuk-kasik station on the Azerbaijani-Georgian
border on October 16.
The event was attended by Azerbaijani and Georgian presidents Ilham Aliyev and
Mikhail Saakashvili, Presidents of the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan
Republic (SOCAR), Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC), CCIC,
Georgian International Oil Company and SPI-Petrofac.
BP, the leader of the AIOC, is to help ensure the Georgian stretch of the
pipeline, its weakest link, by extending $60m to Tbilisi over a number of years
to guarantee security.
Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev awarded order of "Star of
Aliyev is rapidly acquiring the same passion for self-aggrandizement that
characterised his father, Haidar. These post-Soviet potentates have a glaring
lack of legitimacy. They rig their elections, as everyone knows, and preside
over deeply unpopular corrupt and repressive regimes. Massive cults of
personality are built up to fill the void of ideas or genuine endorsement by the
On October11th on a state visit to Bucharest Aliyev was awarded the Order of
"Star of Romania". During the ceremony held on this occasion, Romanian
President Ion Iliescu read out the corresponding Decree. It says: President of
the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev is awarded the high State Prize of
Romania, the Order of "Star of Romania" for his great contributions to
development of Romania-Azerbaijan relations. Then. Iliescu conferred the Order
of "Star of Romania" upon President Ilham Aliyev.
After that, the Decree of the President of Azerbaijan Republic on conferring the
Order "Istiglal" upon President of Romania Ion Iliescu was read out.
Then Aliyev conferred the "Istiglal" Order upon President Ion Iliescu.
A more preposterous ceremony it would be hard to imagine.
What the Romanians want out of Azerbijan is of course oil: hence the flummery
They are not the only ones. The Japanese, Bulgarians, Finns and others have been
engaging in intense diplomatic activity with the Azeris of late with this in
mind. With the price of Brent crude above $50 per barrel for the first time and
the Middle East in turmoil, Azerbaijan and its dictatorial regime look like an
Aliyev received EC delegation headed by Romano Prodi
The EU as a whole is in the same boat here. The EU is going to be highly
indulgent of the regime, as is the US, not raising contentious human rights
matters, at least in public.
When Aliyev received the delegation led by President of the European Commission
Romano Prodi at the President Palace on September 17th there were beams all
round. Greeting the guest, the head of Azerbaijan state recalled his meeting
with Prodi in Belgium telling it was very useful. The Azerbaijan-European Union
relations develop successfully, President of Azerbaijan underlined. "Our
country attaches great importance to development of these relations", he
said. Aliyev stated that "the relations with the European Union are one of
the priorities of our state policy and we reach new accomplishments in this
Noting that the "New Policy of Neighbourhood" is very important,
President Ilham Aliyev underlined that this policy is one of the priorities in
the relations of Azerbaijan and the European Union. Aliyev stated that
appointment of the European Union representative on South Caucasus serves the
development of these relations.
Noting that there is successful cooperation between Azerbaijan and European
Union in the field of economy, in particular, in the power field, President
Ilham Aliyev said that there is a high level dialogue in the political field.
Expressing gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev for his warm reception, Mr. Prodi
said that he was pleased with the visit. Noting that cooperation in the
political, economic and other fields is an integral part of the new policy of
neighbourhood he noted that realization of this policy is of great significance
from the viewpoint of strengthening of cooperation and solution of the facing
problems. "There are important tasks before the European Union for
implementation of this policy and the EU holds a fair position in regard with
the policy of neighbourhood", he said.
Mr. Romano Prodi said that quick resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny
Karabakh conflict is necessary for successful realization of the New Policy of
Neighbourhood. "The European Union with its 500 million population assigns
great importance on expansion of cooperation between the EU and Azerbaijan that
plays is significant role in the region", he stressed. He expressed
confidence that these relations would develop further.
SOCAR lowers oil exports, shifts to AIOC
Azeri state oil company SOCAR is expected to export 2.427 million tonnes of oil
through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline this year, not 2.56 million tonnes as
earlier planned, a company source said, Interfax News Agency reported.
The share of export by Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) is sure
to increase as a result of the drop in SOCAR exports, he said.
SOCAR exported 1.6 million tonnes through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline in the
first eight months of this year. It exported 2.493 million tonnes in 2003.
Azerbaijan exports oil to world markets through the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline
used by SOCAR and the Baku-Supsa pipeline used by AIOC. When the Baku-Supsa
pipeline is shut down AIOC uses the Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline.
The Baku-Novorossiisk pipeline was supposed to export 2.642 million tonnes of
oil this year, including 2.56 million tonnes for SOCAR and just over 80,000
tonnes for AIOC, which the company was unable to export through the Baku-Supsa
pipeline since production at Chirag was suspended in July while work was
performed to connect infrastructure to the Central Azeri platform. The work
resulted in a shutdown in oil transport through the Baku-Supsa pipeline.
AIOC asked to increase its share in oil exports to make up the difference, so
the adjustment in SOCAR exports was made, he said. AIOC has already shipped
135,000 tonnes of oil this year. It plans to ship 80,000 tonnes to Novorossiisk
in November. SOCAR said the company would export 2.5 million tonnes of oil next
year. "But we don't know yet what route will be used since the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will be opened," he said.
Azeri oil major gets associated gas pipeline
The Azerbaijan International Operating Company (AIOC) has finished testing a new
gas pipeline and is ready to transfer it to SOCAR's [State Oil Company of the
Azerbaijani Republic] ownership, Bilik Dunyasi News Agency reported.
The construction of the pipeline for SOCAR was successfully completed in early
September, then tests were carried out and the AIOC kept all its commitments to
the Azerbaijani side within the framework of the project, the AIOC said.
The pipeline, which was designed by the US company Halliburton and the
Azerbaijani institute Gipromorneftegaz [designing offshore oil and gas
production projects], has been constructed by the Azerbaijani-Turkish joint
Azerbaijan needs the pipeline to collect associated gas which is being produced
together with oil within the framework of the Azari-Ciraq-Gunasli project. The
pipeline is 5.5km long and has a capacity of 20-25 cu.m. of gas a day.
In line with the contract signed between the AIOC and SOCAR in 1994, the AIOC is
giving all associated gas produced at Azari-Ciraq-Gunasli to SOCAR free of
charge. The only exception is the gas which the AIOC needs for its own oil and
gas operations. The cost of the project is over US$13m.
Bulgaria planning to join project carrying Azeri oil to European markets
Bulgaria is planning to join a project for transporting the Caspian oil to
Europe. This is all about building one of the branches of the oil pipeline to
Europe via Bulgaria. This topic has been discussed during Azerbaijani Speaker,
Murtuz Alasgarov's, visit to Sofia, Turan News Agency reported.
Our agency has learnt from sources in Sofia that this issue is on the agenda of
Bulgarian President, Georgi Purvanov's, visit to Baku.
The topic was also debated between Murtuz Alasgarov and his Bulgarian
counterpart, Ognyan Gerdzhikov. The Bulgarian speaker also embraced the
expansion of bilateral cooperation, including the intensification of transport
cooperation both at bilateral level and within the framework of TRACECA
[Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia].
FOREIGN ECONOMIC RELATIONS
Azeri-US economic body pleased with ties
The 8th meeting of the US-Azerbaijani working group on economic cooperation held
in Washington has expressed satisfaction with the level of economic cooperation
between the two states. An Azerbaijani delegation led by Finance Minister, Avaz
Alakbarov, attended the meeting.
The sides exchanged views on a wide range of issues of economic cooperation
between the two countries. They focused on the development of the non-oil sector
in Azerbaijan and US assistance to this sphere during the meeting. The sides
noted that reforms in the agriculture and bank sectors, the application of the
law on corruption and the maintenance of budget transparency will step up the
fight against poverty and boost economic development in the country. The working
group also discussed the administration of the State Oil Fund [of the
Azerbaijani Republic], US agencies' assistance to this body and the activity of
the Azerbaijani Ministry for Economic Development.
Avaz Alakbarov and the US co-chairman of the working group, Tom Adams, advanced
specific proposals on the issues included in the agenda. The co-chairmen of the
working group expressed their satisfaction with the level of economic
cooperation between our countries. They said that they would double their
efforts to create a democratic market economy in Azerbaijan.
Finance Minister, Avaz Alakbarov, had numerous meetings with representatives of
the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund within the framework of his
visit to Washington. The talks focused on Azerbaijan's current joint projects
with these financial institutions and prospects for cooperation.
Azeri minister in Italy discussing development of cooperation
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister, Elmar Mammadyarov, recently paid an official visit
to Italy, where he met representatives of the authorities and the Venice Chamber
of Commerce. The meetings discussed the current stage and prospects of
developing cooperation between Italy and Azerbaijan, integration into Europe and
Armenia's resettlement of its residents in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan.
Also, Mammadyarov spoke about the social-political processes, reforms carried
out in Azerbaijan and the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagornyy Karabakh conflict at a
business forum. Answering questions from business people, the minister told the
forum, which was attended by representatives of about 60 companies, that
favourable investment conditions had been created in Azerbaijan.
Azeri leaders, Finnish minister set to expand ties
Azerbaijani President, Ilham Aliyev, received Finnish Foreign Minister, Erkki
Tuomioja, on 4th October. Aliyev said that relations between the two countries
had been dynamically developing at a bilateral level as well as within the
framework of international organizations, Assa-Irada reported.
Speaking about Azerbaijan's active involvement in the EU's New Neighbourhood
policy, Aliyev pointed out the EU's increased interest in the region, including
Recalling his visit to Baku six years ago within an official delegation,
Tuomioja said that Azerbaijan had made remarkable progress, adding that he had
never seen so many changes within such a short time. Tuomioja went on to say
that there are great prospects for cooperation between the countries and
expressed the hope that the sides would do their best to develop relations in
the future. Both Finland and the EU hope that the Nagornyy Karabakh conflict
will soon be settled peacefully, he said.
Azerbaijani Prime Minister, Artur Rasizada, also met the Finnish delegation.
Noting that economic relations with Finland were not at a high level, Rasizada
pointed to Azerbaijan's interest in Finland's experience in developing the
For his part, Tuomioja said that Finland was interested in expanding cooperation
with Azerbaijan in various fields, including information technologies and
communications. He said that an agreement had been reached during the talks
regarding a visit of a delegation of Finnish businessmen to Baku to investigate
the prospects of making investments in Azerbaijan.
Azeri, Saudi energy ministers sign cooperation declaration
Azerbaijan Minister of Fuel and Energy Macid Karimov, who is on a visit to Saudi
Arabia, has presented King Fahd Bin-Abd-al-Aziz Al-Sa'ud with a letter from
President Ilham Aliyev. According to the Azerbaijani embassy in Saudi Arabia,
Macid Karimov also met the Saudi minister of oil and mineral resources, the
minister of commerce and industry and the minister of water and electricity,
At the end of the meeting which discussed issues of mutual interest, Karimov
signed a joint declaration with the Saudi minister of oil and mineral resources.
The declaration reflects issues of developing relations in the oil and gas
sphere, conducting joint research and exploration, exchanging experts with the
aim of using scientific and technical experience, training personnel, inviting
experts to conferences and forums, etc.
Azeri, Romanian leaders hold cooperation talks in Bucharest
Talks were held in Bucharest recently between Romania and Azerbaijan at the
highest level, including a tete-a-tete meeting between the Azerbaijani and
Romanian presidents, Ilham Aliyev and Ion Iliescu, Turan News Agency reported.
The sides discussed prospects for the development of Azerbaijani-Romanian ties
in the political and economic fields, as well as cooperation within
Commenting on the talks held, Iliescu noted the importance of maintaining and
expanding the current "high" level of cooperation. He particularly
noted cooperation between the two countries within the framework of the TRACECA
[Transport Corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia] programme. Iliescu also said that
Europe was interested in the implementation of regional projects in the South
As a result of the talks, 11 agreements were signed, including on cooperation in
the field of customs, justice and special services, as well as a joint
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