2 Jun 2018 13:49

Azerbaijan willing to closely cooperate with GECF - minister

BAKU. June 2 (Interfax) - Azerbaijan is determined to develop close cooperation with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF), Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Sahbazov said.

"Azerbaijan is turning into a major player on the gas market as it is starting direct gas deliveries from the Caspian basin to the European international market through infrastructure of global significance, the Southern Gas Corridor (SGC). The SGC was inaugurated in Baku on May 29, its construction will be completed in 2020, and then gas deliveries to the south of Italy will begin. Taking this factor into consideration, Azerbaijan is determined to closely cooperate with GECF," Sahbazov said in an interview with the Azerbaijani TV channel CBC.

He pointed out that Azerbaijan currently has observer status at GECF and is actively sharing opinions and experience with this organization.

"We are developing successful cooperation with the Gas Exporting Countries Forum and will continue it in productive form," Sahbazov said.

Azerbaijan was granted observer status at GECF at its 3rd summit in Tehran on November 23, 2015. The-then Azerbaijani energy minister, Natiq Aliyev, said at the time that Azerbaijan had been offered full member status but it decided to be observer, considering "full membership premature."

GECF Secretary General Yury Sentyurin has said several times in 2018 that the Forum expects Azerbaijan to become a full member of this organization to expand cooperation.