By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov met with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell on the sidelines of the 25th session of the OSCE Ministerial Council, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry told Trend.
During the meeting, the sides expressed satisfaction with the existing partnership relations between Azerbaijan and the United States and exchanged views on a wide range of issues of bilateral cooperation agenda.
Mammadyarov briefed Wess Mitchell on the current state of the negotiations on the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and the meeting held in Milan on December 5 with the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs and the Armenian foreign minister.
Furthermore, Mammadyarov spoke about important energy and transport projects implemented on the initiative and with the participation of Azerbaijan, in particular, the projects of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway and the Southern Gas Corridor.
He hailed the support provided by the U.S. in the implementation of these projects.
In turn, Mitchell noted that the bilateral relations between the two states are developing dynamically and commended Azerbaijan’s contribution to the NATO Resolute Support Mission and the fight against terrorism.
The sides also exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest.
The United States established diplomatic relations with Azerbaijan in 1992, following its independence from the Soviet Union. Together, the two countries work to promote European energy security, expand bilateral trade and investment, and combat terrorism and transnational threats.
The U.S. is committed to strengthening democracy and promoting economic diversification in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and the U.S. have a Trade Relations Agreement and a Bilateral Investment Treaty. The governments periodically convene the U.S.-Azerbaijan Economic Partnership Commission to discuss bilateral cooperation to promote trade and investment.
The U.S. has long supported Azerbaijan’s efforts to develop and export its energy resources to Western markets, and crude oil is the single largest import from Azerbaijan. U.S. companies are involved in offshore oil development projects in Azerbaijan, export aircraft and heavy machinery to Azerbaijan, and have been exploring emerging trade and investment opportunities in agriculture, telecommunications, tourism, transportation services, and other fields.
Azerbaijan was accepted as an associate member in the NATO Parliamentary Assembly on November 19, 2001. Azerbaijan decided to participate in the international coalition forces in peacekeeping operations in Iraq in May 2003.
The U.S. is one of the key trade partners of Azerbaijan. Presently, 240 U.S. companies operate in industry, construction, communications, banking and other spheres in Azerbaijan.
The trade turnover between two countries in January-June 2018 amounted to $ 476.1 million. Until now, the U.S. has invested $ 13 billion in the Azerbaijani economy and more than $ 1 billion was invested in the non-oil sector.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz