Barroso: EU, Azerbaijan Consider Southern Gas Corridor Mutual Priority
The EU and Azerbaijan have agreed to fast-track the strategic modernization partnership deal and to boost efforts on the Southern Gas Corridor, according to Jose Manuel Barroso.
The EC President presented the results of a meeting with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku.
He noted that the two sides would speed up work on the agreement on Strategic Modernization Partnership and expressed hopes that the deal would be concluded soon as it was essential both for Azerbaijan and the EU.
Stressing the successful energy cooperation between Brussels and Baku, Barroso reminded that the work on the Southern Gas Corridor project had started three years ago.
The EC President declared that the scheme was important for political reasons and with a view to improving energy security.
Barroso said that he had discussed with Aliyev opportunities for accelerating and expanding the Southern Gas Corridor, adding that the two sides had agreed to give the project priority treatment in the coming year.
He announced that the conduit, planned to bring 10 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe by 2019, was also being discussed with other countries in the region and they were looking at possible ways of development.
Barroso, as cited by the EC press office, also underscored that the EU remained Azerbaijan's main trading partner with bilateral trade flows worth EUR 17.9 B in 2013, i.e. more than 42% of Azerbaijan's trade turnover.
The EC President also drew attention to the fact that recently concluded Visa facilitation and readmission agreements were expected to boost travel between European countries and Azerbaijan, adding that the Open Skies Agreement could also play a role in this regard.
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