As IGB nears completion, Bulgaria hails Azerbaijani FM, readying to roll out red carpet for president [PHOTO]
Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov is paying an official visit to Bulgaria, Azernews reports, citing the Foreign Ministry.
The Azerbaijani top diplomat’s visit to Bulgaria includes a strategic dialogue meeting between the two nations with the participation of the foreign ministers, and bilateral meetings with Bulgarian officials, the report elaborates.
In the meantime, ahead of the Azerbaijani foreign minister’s official visit to Sofia, Bulgarian President Rumen Radev in his congratulatory message to Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev on the Independence Day reemphasized the importance his country is attaching to the development of the relations with Azerbaijan, which, he said, “we perceive as a strategic partner”.
This Bulgarian leader believes this “is confirmed by the intensive 30-year-long fruitful dialogue between our two countries”.
The Bulgarian leader expressed his confidence that the two countries have excellent perspectives and opportunities for intensive and mutually beneficial cooperation in all sectors which will contribute to their future development.
“I believe that the invitation I sent for your visit to Bulgaria this year will give us the opportunity to discuss new horizons and perspectives,” Radev reiterated, reconfirming his certitude to go ahead with augmentation of the relations for the benefit of the two nations.
In the light of both parties’ readiness to expand all-out relations, the visit of the Azerbaijani leader to Sofia would only be conducive to further deepening of the ties, pundits in Baku believe.
A promising for Bulgaria's area of cooperation at this stage is the purchase of natural gas from Azerbaijan amid the ongoing Russian war in Ukraine, and Europe’s collective efforts to get rid of Russian energy resources.
With the completion of the TAP (Trans-Adriatic Pipeline) construction on December 31, 2020, Azerbaijan began commercial gas supplies to Europe via the Southern Gas Corridor. The European Commission's Southern Gas Corridor initiative aims to build a natural gas supply route from the Caspian and Middle Eastern regions to Europe. The route from Azerbaijan to Europe consists of the South Caucasus Pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP), and TAP.
In 2021, TAP transported 8.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe. By late 2022, Azerbaijan plans to increase gas supplies to Europe to 9.1 billion cubic meters, and in 2023, the volume of gas supplies is expected to reach 11 billion cubic meters.
Additionally, today, the final work on the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), which will transport natural gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria, is in full swing. Gas was supposed to start flowing via IGB back in 2020, but the delay in implementing the project has postponed the purchase of Azerbaijani gas.
In keeping with the forecast of the Azerbaijani government for oil and gas production in the country until 2026, about 48 billion cubic meters of gas will be produced in 2023, 49 billion cubic meters in 2024, and about 50 billion cubic meters in 2025.
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