Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu Saturday pushed for stronger economic ties with Azerbaijan.
“We need to strengthen our economic relations. We have to increase investments. Above all, the obstacles to trade need to be removed completely,” Cavusoglu told a news conference alongside his Azeri counterpart Elmar Memmedyarov in the capital Baku, where he is paying a one-day working visit.
“We strongly support the program of economic diversification in Azerbaijan and supporting national production,” he added.
Cavusoglu also said Turkey supports firms investing in Azerbaijan.
Cavusoglu: TANAP is an essential project for us
About the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), Cavusoglu said: “For us, TANAP is an essential project. It is our joint project. We are working to finish it ahead of schedule. [Under it] first Azeri gas comes to Turkey and then reaches European markets.”
The TANAP project aims to bring natural gas, produced from Azerbaijan’s Shah Deniz-2 gas field and other areas of the Caspian Sea, primarily to Turkey, then also on to Europe via the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP).
The project is planned to be operational in 2018 with an initial capacity to carry 16 billion cubic meters (bcm) of Azeri gas through Georgia to Turkey.
In addition to economic cooperation, Cavusoglu is due to discuss resolution of the Upper Karabakh issue as well as other regional and international developments with Memmedyarov before returning to Turkey.
Turkish FM calls for withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijan lands
“Armenia must immediately withdraw its troops from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan,” said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu at a joint press conference with his Azerbaijani counterpart Elmar Mammadyarov in Baku.
He also called on the OSCE Minsk Group to speed up efforts towards the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Addressing the press conference, Elmar Mammadyarov noted that they discussed the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and regional issues.
“We touched upon the economic issues. We believe that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway will launch its operation very soon. This is an important project. This railway will connect Azerbaijan with Georgia, Turkey, Central Asia and China. We believe that this project will create opportunities for economic growth. We talked about energy issues. The construction of TANAP is going at full swing. More than fifty percent of construction work has been completed. The natural gas via TANAP will be transported to the Turkish markets in time,” the Azerbaijani FM said.