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Azerbaijan, Iran agree to expand cooperation in gas sphere - UPDATE

15 December 2009 [12:23] - TODAY.AZ
Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has paid an official visit to Iran.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said ties with Azerbaijan, which he described as friendly and brotherly state, have intensified in all spheres.

In his meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov in Tehran, Ahmadinejad welcomed steps made towards extension of cooperation between the two countries which have historic and deep relations.

He said there were many spheres and huge potential to develop cooperation which will benefit the whole region. “Iranian people welcome Azerbaijan’s development ”.

Ahmadinejad thanked to Azerbaijan for not voting for the draft resolution of the International Atomic Energy Agency against Iran and said it was an indication of brotherhood.

Mammadyarov noted that political and economic relations between Azerbaijan and Iran have enhanced in recent years and said they plan to deepen bilateral relations.

Azerbaijan will not support decisions of the international organizations against Iran, he added.



Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with Secretary of Supreme National Security Council of Iran Saeed Jalili.

At the meeting, Jalili said that the problems existing in the region, including the issues related to the Caspian Sea, in the energy field and in general, problems in the Caucasus region, should be addressed directly by the countries themselves, without outside interference.

He also mentioned the historical importance of the existing relations between Tehran and Baku, between whom friendly relations exist for the further development of cooperation.

External intervention in the region, including on issues of energy security, is unacceptable, he added.

Mammadyarov said at the meeting that he believes bilateral cooperation on regional security and Iran's further contribution to further solving the problems of the Caucasus region is crucial.


Dec. 14

All aspects of Iran-Azerbaijan cooperation, transit via North-South corridor had been discussed during the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Mottaki said.

The meeting also focused on Astara-Astara Railway.

It was noted that the volume of the goods transported from Azerbaijan to Persian Gulf and in opposite direction will be increased.

Touching on the border relations between the two countries Iranian minister noted the necessity of simplifying the travel

“Iran-Azerbaijan relations are all-round and have great importance in the region,” he said.

Mottaki said they had also discussed energy cooperation, adding that Iran will join CIS energy system through Azerbaijan.

Mammadyarov said they had discussed political, economic, humanitarian cooperation.

According to the minister, Iran is a stable country of the region and this stability is of great importance for the negotiations on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

“The sooner this conflict is solved, the better it for the region. Iran has a special role in the security of the region,” he said.

Touching on the energy cooperation, Mammadyarov said oil and gas companies of Azerbaijan and Iran were holding talks.

Speaking of the importance of cultural cooperation, he said Culture Days of Azerbaijan would be held in Tehran and other cities of Iran.

According to Mottaki, the trade turnover between the two countries is $600 million.

“We want to increase this figure by $1 billion. There is a good potential for this.”

Asked why the Baku summit of the Caspian states is delayed, Mammadyarov said they want to hold a summit that may produce concrete results.

“The foreign ministries are holding talks so that the summit will be effective,” he said.


This was stated at a news conference following talks between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov and his Iranian Counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki that took place as a part of Mammadyarov's visit to Iran.

"During the meeting, we have discussed issues of cooperation between the two countries in the gas sphere," Mammadyarov said.

"Heads of energy agencies will soon implement these agreements."

SOCAR and the Iranian National Gas Company are expected to sign a contract on Azerbaijani gas deliveries following the ongoing talks.

From the beginning of next year Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Iran on definite volumes, which existing infrastructure of the two countries allow.

Currently, the infrastructure allows delivering about 500 million cubic meters of gas per year.

In the future, the parties intend to expand capacity by increasing the capacity of gas compressor stations. The gas price has not been specified.

Iran intends to purchase about 5 billion cubic meters of gas from Azerbaijan, Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammad Bagir Bahrami said earlier.

Azerbaijan has four directions of gas export, including Turkey, Georgia, Russia and Iran. At present, gas is exported to Turkey and Georgia. Azerbaijani gas will be exported to Russia from early 2010. At present, Azerbaijan exports gas upon swap conditions with further transfer of Iranian gas to provide the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic.

Azerbaijan and Iran are connected with the Qazimammad-Astara pipeline gas pipeline. Its length is 1474.5 kilometers, including the territory of Azerbaijan - 296.5 kilometers. Its capacity is 10 billion cubic meters per year.

This route is a branch of the pipeline Gazakh-Astara-Iran, put into operation in 1971. Three compressor stations in Qazimammad, Agdash and Gazakh have been built.

The gas transportation system is 55 atmospheres. Pipe diameter is 1,200 mm.

/Trend Capital, APA/

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