INTERVIEW WITH THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN ELMAR MAMMADYAROV

Response of the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammdyarov to the question of the editorial board of Foreign Policy and Diplomacy of Turkmenistan magazine regarding the First Caspian Economic Forum

Dear Minister, how do you evaluate the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan on hosting the First Caspian Economic Forum, voiced during the Summit of the Heads of Caspian Littoral States in Aktau?

First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to convey my utmost sincere greetings to the people of Turkmenistan and again reiterate traditionally friendly attitude and fraternal feelings that we in Azerbaijan possess towards your country. Historically, we are united by the common roots, while geographically we are connected by the Caspian Sea which has always played a vital role in the fates of our peoples. Thus it is not a coincidence that in Azerbaijan, just like in Turkmenistan, we pay so much attention to the unfolding of the potential of the Caspian Sea and international cooperation of the littoral states.

In this regard, we have welcomed the initiative of the President of Turkmenistan on convening the Caspian Economic Forum which will turn into a new format for the intensification of cooperation between the countries of the Caspian Five for the sake of elevating the practical content of the Convention adopted by us which announces the transformation of the Caspian into the region of peace, goodneighborhood, friendship and cooperation.

How do you envision the role and potential of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the future economic development of the Caspian region?

As is known, since the very beginning of the industrial era, Baku was the pioneer and main center of developing the oil and gas resources both on the land and in the sea. It was so in XIX century, in Soviet times, and after our state regained its neutrality. We intend to participate further in the process of unveiling the rich economic potential of our region. And certainly, the Republic of Azerbaijan considers close collaboration with the neighboring states as a factor which will have a strong impact on our joint efforts. We welcome various formats of mutually beneficial cooperation both on bilateral and trilateral basis, including the one which unites all the Caspian states. The main objective is to make sure that all the projects implemented by us coincide with the interests of our countries and serve for further widening of cooperation existing between us in different spheres.

Azerbaijan will continue implementing further its strategic course of economic development through more extensive and deeper regional cooperation for the sake of attaining our joint prosperity.

Dear Minister, would you please shortly comment on the preparations of the delegation of Azerbaijan to the upcoming Economic Forum of Caspian States which will take place on the 12th of August in Turkmenbashi city and your expectations from the upcoming meetings and resolutions to be adopted at this Forum?

As I have already mentioned, Azerbaijan is very interested in the implementation of the projects which fulfill the interests of strengthening economic cooperation and fully developing the rich potential of the Caspian states. Accordingly, we think that we have prepared rather well to the upcoming Economic Forum in Turkmenbashi. According to our expectations, launching this format aimed at the cooperation of Caspian states will enable to specify the collaboration in the framework of major initiatives realized in the region. We believe that the growth of energy, logistical and other projects will fulfill the interests of each state and the Caspian region in general.

Once again I would like to congratulate our Turkmen colleagues and partners with the grand initiative which will certainly produce concrete results aimed at the development of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and other Caspian states.

Source: EMBASSY OF TURKMENISTAN REPUBLIC OF UZBEKISTAN TASHKENT