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Azerbaijan, Pakistan discuss energy co-op.

By Leman Mammadova

Azerbaijan's Ambassador to PakistanAli Alizadeheld a meeting with Pakistani Federal Minister for Petroleum Ghulam Sarwar Khan.

The sides discussed issues related to the implementation of the Agreement on energy cooperation between the two countries, further development of economic and trade relations, highlighted the need to increase efforts to boost trade turnover.

The sides expressed satisfaction with the current state of the Azerbaijani-Pakistani relations and underlined the importance of the mutual support of both countries in the energy sector.

The participation of Pakistani oil and gas companies, managers and specialists in the traditional Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition-Conference and the strengthening of cooperation in this field will contribute to the economic and trade relations between the two countries.

Energy ministries of both Pakistan and Azerbaijan had signed an inter-governmental agreement in February 2017 for the supply of a number of oil and gas products, including furnace oil, petrol, diesel and liquefied natural gas (LNG).

However, the documents of the deal turned into a shuttlecock between Pakistan State Oil (PSO) offices in Karachi and the Petroleum Division in Islamabad due to bureaucratic hiccups.

PSOand Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR are now expected to formally sign a commercial agreement for the supply of motor gasoline (petrol) against a 4-6 months credit facility of $100-150 million.

Pakistan signed government-to-government deals with Azerbaijan in various areas including supply of electricity, crude and refined oil products, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) on June 20, 2016.

The agreements were set to alllow the two countries to sign multibillion-dollar agreements for trading in oil and gas without going through the bidding process.

Pakistan has long been an importer of crude and refined oil products from Middle Eastern countries and is now exploring opportunities of importing LNG from other countries including Italy, France, China and Malaysia.

AzerbaijanPakistan relations are considered to be of "strategic partners" nature.

The strategic partnership between Azerbaijan and Pakistan has contributed to the cooperation in economic, trade, military-technical, energy, tourism and other spheres.

There are about 300 Pakistani companies and businessmen working in our country. Also, there was a multiple increase in the number of tourists coming from Pakistan to our country.Work on the establishment of direct flights between the two countries is currently underway.

According to the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan, the trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $8.34 million in January-September 2018. Compared to the same period of 2017, trade turnover has increased by 22.46 percent. The bulk of the turnover fell on Pakistani exports to Azerbaijan.

Pakistan became the second country after Turkey that recognized the independence of Azerbaijan in 1991. The diplomatic relations between two countries were established on June 9, 1992.

Pakistan backed Azerbaijan during and after the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Pakistan fully supports Azerbaijan's fair position in the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. In 2012, Pakistan adopted a resolution strongly condemning the genocide against the civilian population of Khojaly, which was committed by Armenian armed forces. Then, in October 2013, the Senate adopted a document supporting the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.

The military cooperation occupies a special place in Azerbaijan-Pakistan relations.
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Publication:Azer News (Baku, Azerbaijan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Jan 30, 2019
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