The discussions held between the US President Donald Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte in Washington on the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) show Trump’s special attention towards Baku, Peter Tase, US expert on Global Politics and Transatlantic Relations, an adviser to Global Engineering Deans Council and other prestigious International Institutions told Trend July 31.
“The TAP project has acquired a special attention at the US Department of Energy and among the top echelons of the US State Department; subsequently we can observe a positive inference when it comes to Washington’s special attention towards Baku and its willingness to continue with its support in the strengthening of Azerbaijani Economy. Washington has steadfastly demonstrated a candid readiness to assist and provide strategic posture to the government of President Ilham Aliyev,” he said.
Tase noted that the government of Azerbaijan under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, has demonstrated an outstanding and unique leadership in the conservation of environmental ecosystems, it has implemented responsible and sustainable economic development projects in the energy sector and construction of natural gas pipeline networks.
“These ambitious regional energy projects, initiated and financed by the Republic of Azerbaijan, under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, are envied and silently admired by other countries that have a much larger territorial size than Azerbaijan and are not suffering the pains caused by the occupation of a neighboring country’s armed forces. Although twenty percent of the sovereign territory of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Nagorno-Karabakh and its seven surrounding districts, has been occupied by the Armenian armed forces, the government has shown to the world that Azerbaijan is a developed nation at the heart of Eurasia and is a country equipped with: a cutting edge technology, admirable political will and advanced infrastructure. All of these components facilitate the implementation of regional energy projects that are of strategic interest to South – East Europe and beyond,” noted Tase.
During the joint press conference in Washington, Italian Prime Minister Conte said that TAP is strategic work in terms of energy supply to Italy and to the south of Europe and the Mediterranean area.
The US President Donald Trump, in his turn, expressed hope that Italy will be able to build TAP.
“As far as a pipeline is concerned, I’d like to see a competing pipeline. So, Mr. Prime Minister, I hope you’re going to be able to do that competing pipeline,” said Trump.
TAP project, worth 4.5 billion euros, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union (EU), and has already attracted 1.5 billion euros from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which approved the loan in early February 2018.
Connecting with the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) at the Greek-Turkish border, TAP will cross Northern Greece, Albania and the Adriatic Sea before coming ashore in Southern Italy to connect to the Italian natural gas network.
The project is currently in its construction phase, which started in 2016.
Once built, TAP will offer a direct and cost-effective transportation route opening up the vital Southern Gas Corridor, a 3,500-kilometer long gas value chain stretching from the Caspian Sea to Europe.
TAP shareholders include BP (20 percent), SOCAR (20 percent), Snam S.p.A. (20 percent), Fluxys (19 percent), Enagas (16 percent) and Axpo (5 percent).
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