(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 30. Hungary and
Azerbaijan will expand cooperation in the future, President of
Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev said, making a press statement with Prime
Minister of Hungary Viktor Orban, trend reports.
Statement by President Ilham Aliyev
- Dear Prime Minister.
Dear ladies and gentlemen.
Prime Minister, first of all, I would like to thank you for the
invitation and hospitality.
As Prime Minister has mentioned, we have been in close contact
with each other for many years. We share the bonds of friendship.
The friendly relations between our countries are of great
importance both for our countries and, at the same time, for the
The Joint Declaration on the deepening of strategic partnership
signed today is further evidence of our strategic partnership. This
is a second signed document on strategic partnership and it shows
again that Hungary and Azerbaijan are true friends and strategic
Our successful policy and joint steps in recent years have
created a very strong foundation for cooperation in the field of
energy today. Prime Minister has recalled that great work was done
on the NABUCCO project. However, the NABUCCO project was not
implemented because the financial sources had not been identified.
Nevertheless, Azerbaijan worked hard to deliver its gas resources
to European markets and, as a result, the Southern Gas Corridor was
implemented two years ago. This is very modern energy
infrastructure, its length is 3,500 kilometers, and Azerbaijan has
been delivering its natural gas resources to the European Union for
two years now.
According to the document we signed with the European Commission
last year, we plan to double our gas supply, perhaps even more than
double. The resources to do that are available, and so are
political will and contacts with our partners.
I am very glad that we have now revived the NABUCCO project,
which was once consigned to history. Through interconnectors,
Azerbaijani gas will be delivered to Bulgaria, then to Romania,
then to Hungary, and after Hungary to other European countries. We
have also discussed this. Hungary is not only a consumer of
Azerbaijani gas but will also act as a transit country for
Azerbaijani gas to other European countries.
Of course, energy security issues are of particular importance
in the present-day world, and I think they are currently at the top
of the global agenda. Azerbaijan's ample oil and gas resources
allow it the opportunity to be a reliable partner for Europe for
many years to come – at least for a hundred years from now in terms
of natural gas. This is exactly what the leadership of the European
Commission calls Azerbaijan – a reliable partner.
The recently discovered tremendous green energy potential has
also enhanced the importance of Azerbaijan. Of course, projects
related to green energy and the already implemented ones will bring
us closer to Europe. As my dear friend has mentioned, according to
the agreement signed last month, Azerbaijan will deliver its green
energy to Europe, and these issues were discussed again today. The
countries involved in this project – Azerbaijan, Georgia, Hungary
and Romania – will gather for the first steering committee meeting
in Baku in a few days and start working on the concept of future
This is a project that requires a lot of investment. The
generation of green energy, its transmission and delivery to the
market, and also the laying of a cable under the Black Sea – all
these projects require major financial resources. At the same time,
they require very strict coordination. Therefore, we will take the
first step at the meeting to be held in Baku on February 3. So the
energy security of the European continent will be ensured in a more
complete and comprehensive manner.
Although much of our cooperation is focused on energy issues, it
is not limited to that. At the same time, we are implementing major
plans in the field of transport. I can say that we have already
started transferring goods from Hungary to Azerbaijan and from
Azerbaijan to Hungary through railways. This project has great
potential as well. Because after the start of the Russian-Ukrainian
war, the volume of goods passing through the territory of
Azerbaijan has dramatically increased. Last year alone, the volume
of transit cargo increased by 75 percent. The modern transport
infrastructure existing in Azerbaijan – be it tankers, ships, a
large trade seaport, railways – all of them are modern and meet all
the necessary requirements. Therefore, although Azerbaijan is a
landlocked country, I think it can become one of the important
transport and logistical centers of Eurasia. There are very good
opportunities for cooperation with European countries, especially
with Hungary, which is one of our closest partners in the European
In parallel with this, there are very good results in the field
of education. I would like to take this opportunity to express my
gratitude to Prime Minister for the fact that 200 young
Azerbaijanis are studying in Hungary with the support of the
Hungarian government. This is, of course, a very important event in
the direction of personnel capacity building in Azerbaijan. At the
same time, it will greatly strengthen our friendship.
Another important area for cooperation is demining. In the
period since the end of the second Karabakh war, Azerbaijan has
been faced with great problems in this field. More than a million
mines have to be cleared. In two years after the war, about 300
Azerbaijani citizens have been either killed or seriously injured
by mines. Therefore, taking into account Hungary's experience in
this field, we are seeing good opportunities for cooperation.
In parallel with this, opinions were also exchanged regarding
the activities of Hungarian companies in the liberated lands of
Karabakh and Zangezur. In the near future, maybe in a week from
now, we will start discussing specific projects. We are very
interested in working together in the field of urban development,
which Hungary has a great experience in. Because nothing has been
left standing in liberated lands on an area of 10,000 square
kilometers. All buildings and the entire infrastructure were
destroyed during the occupation, and we will certainly revive these
regions. Karabakh and Eastern Zangezur have already been declared
green energy zones.
In other words, the multifaceted nature of our cooperation is
clearly visible. Of course, the energy sector plays a key role now,
as it tops the global and European agenda. However, there are other
areas of our cooperation. The key thing is that Hungary and
Azerbaijan as two friendly and partner countries will continue to
deepen bilateral cooperation and will provide each other with
support within the framework of the international organizations we
are represented in.
Dear Prime Minister, I want to thank you once again for your
hospitality. Using this opportunity, I would like to invite you to
visit Azerbaijan. Thank you.