Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, DC. In this special edition of the Azerbaijan News Digest, you will find articles about the international reaction to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline announcement, growing membership in the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus and an interview with Foreign Minister Mammadyarov. We hope you enjoy the reading, and invite you to read the Embassy Diary, like us on Facebook
and follow us on Twitter.
July 31, 2013
President Aliyev attends multi-faith Iftar and highlights diversity, inclusiveness in Azerbaijan
President of Azerbaijan
Speaking at a recent Iftar celebration attended by leaders of the Muslim, Russian Orthodox, Catholic, and Jewish faiths, President Aliyev emphasized Azerbaijan’s long history of religious tolerance. “Today, Azerbaijan is a strong state, and our strength is measured not only by economic achievements,” the President said. “Azerbaijan is a multiethnic and multi-religious state. This is our great asset. We protect and will continue to protect this asset.”
Azerbaijan's one-stop public service shop is driving up efficiency
Earlier this month, the Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev signed an order to establish a state agency for services to citizens and social innovations. The aim of this is to make government services more easily accessible to citizens using modern technology. Part of this is the Azerbaijan service and assessment network (Asan) – a network of centres where government services will be delivered in a unified and co-ordinated manner by highly skilled and motivated public servants. All of the services in the centre are processed online. The six core principles of the Asan model are: being customer-centric, connecting up government, building capacity, delivering on its promise to the public, innovation and fighting against corruption.
Greek Ambassador: Greece, an energy security provider
The recent selection of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) by the Shah Deniz Consortium constitutes a major step to the implementation of the “Southern Gas Corridor”. Through the territory of Greece, will cross Albania and the Adriatic Sea and come ashore in southern Italy, allowing gas to flow directly from the Caspian region to European markets.
TAP ensures both greater energy security and greater energy diversification, not only in southeastern Europe, but throughout the European Union. It plays a critical role in sustaining economic growth, meeting global energy demand and providing a new source of natural gas with great potential. This comes as a result of the conclusion of numerous agreements and interconnections with other pipelines (e.g. IGB).
Ambassador Panagopoulos’s interview on Platts Energy Week
Platts Energy Week
Greek Ambassador to the United States, Christos Panagopoulos, further discussed the effect that the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and Azerbaijani gas will have on his country’s economy and energy security in a recent interview with Platts Energy Week.
Rep. Turner: More natural gas for Europe is good for US alliances and jobs
Fortunately, Europe’s energy security is being boosted by recent developments in the central Asian country of Azerbaijan and here in America. Because Azerbaijan is an important partner on energy, economics and national security, I have authored a bipartisan Congressional resolution declaring that it is in America’s national interest to work with the governments of Turkey, Azerbaijan and Georgia and their associates to bring additional oil and gas supplies to European markets.
BP, SOCAR, Total and Fluxys join TAP project
BP, SOCAR and Total - members of the international consortium developing the giant Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan - have exercised their option to join the Trans Adriatic Pipeline AG, TAP reported this week. Managing Director for TAP Kjetil Tungland welcomed the shareholders of Shah Deniz and Fluxys in the TAP project, noting that the new shareholders will significantly enhance TAP's strategic position in becoming an integral link between both their upstream and downstream businesses. "This will further strengthen the integration of the entire Southern Gas Corridor value chain and support TAP's delivery of the project on time and on budget," he said.
Minister Elmar Mammadyarov's interview with FRANCE 24
Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov discussed Azerbaijan’s hopes for resolution in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and the improvements that the country’s economic energy success is bringing to Azerbaijani citizens in a recent interview with France 24.
Ambassador meets with DC Mayor Vincent Gray
Azerbaijani Ambassador to the U.S. Elin Suleymanov recently met with Mayor of Washington D.C. Vincent Gray, and discussed the embassy’s efforts to contribute to the social and cultural life of the city, noting the embassy’s partnership with Anne Beers Elementary School. He also provided insight into the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s work to support schools both in Azerbaijan and abroad, particularly the foundation’s education grant to Montgomery County Public Schools. Mayor Gray invited the Azerbaijani Embassy to participate in environment-related projects implemented in the U.S. capital.
Husband-Wife Diplomats Introduce U.S. to Their Emerging Nation
The Washington Diplomat recently profiled Ambassador Suleymanov and his wife Lala Abdurahimova on their efforts to strengthen Azerbaijan’s relationship with the United States and introduce the culture of their homeland to the capital.
New members join U.S. Congress working group on Azerbaijan
New members have joined the U.S. Congress's working group on Azerbaijan. The number of members of the Congressional Azerbaijan Caucus (CAC) in the U.S. House of Representatives has reached 49, with the recent additions Representatives Mark Meadows (R-NC), Jim Bridenstine (R-OK), Filemon Vela (D-TX), Luke Messer (R-IN), Leonard Lance (R-NJ) and Gregory Meeks (D-NY).
As AzerNews previously reported, the caucus has plays an important role in increasing the understanding of Congress on Caspian energy and geopolitics of the South Caucasus region, in further developing the strategic relations between the United States and Republic of Azerbaijan, increasing trade, security and military cooperation between the two nations, better grasping issues surrounding the illegal military occupation of Azerbaijani lands such as Nagorno-Karabakh (NK) and other regional issues.
U.S. Congressmen appreciate Azerbaijan's contribution to Europe's energy security
The Assembly of the Friends of Azerbaijan (AFAZ), operating in the U.S, held a recent event on "Southern Gas Corridor and its role in ensuring the energy security of Europe". Over 20 members of the U.S House of Representatives and the Senate, representatives of the U.S. State Department, diplomats accredited in Washington, experts of influential analytical centers and media representatives attended the event.
The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) president Rovnag Abdullayev was on a working visit to the U.S. While delivering speech at the event, he said that the U.S support played a significant role in the progress that has been achieved in the Southern Gas Corridor. Abdullayev said that this project will not only provide Europe with alternative energy, but also support the economic development of the continent.
"Azerbaijan has become one of the fastest developing countries"
The State House of Representatives of Hawaii has adopted a resolution dedicated to U.S.-Azerbaijan relations. The resolution says that the U.S. was one of the first countries to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991 and establish full-fledged diplomatic relations with it in 1992. “Over the last twenty two years, the Republic of Azerbaijan has consolidated its sovereignty and independence, and has become one of the fastest developing countries in the region and beyond,” the resolution notes.
The resolution concludes by noting that “it is critical for the United States of America to further strengthen the relations with its allies, such as Azerbaijan” and expresses full support of the Hawaii House of Representatives for “the strategic partnership and friendship between the United States of America and the Republic of Azerbaijan.”
New York State’s Proclamation Hails US- Azerbaijan Partnership
The New York State Assembly has passed a proclamation welcoming the strategic partnership between the U.S. and Azerbaijan. The document recognizes Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and sovereignty by the U.S., the election of the country as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Azerbaijan's strategic role as a United States ally, as well as its participation in the peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. It also referred to Baku's offering its airspace and airports for transportation of 40 percent of non-military materials to Afghanistan, Azerbaijan's contribution to ensuring the energy security of the U.S. allies in Europe, and also the atmosphere of tolerance towards different religions and ethnic groups in the country.
Azerbaijan hosts concert of Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra
The 5th Gabala International Music Festival has featured a concert of Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra. Conducted by famous Israeli musician Amos Talmon, the orchestra performed works by European composers. The concert also saw Azerbaijani pianists Farhad Badalbayli, Murad Adigozelzade, Murad Huseynov and Yegana Akhundova perform compositions by Sergei Rachmaninoff, Francis Poulenc and Johannes Brahms.