TODAY.AZ / Business

Steven Mann: "Exploitation of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan will be turning point of Eurasia energy projects"

25 May 2005 [09:00] - TODAY.AZ
The USA State Department chief counselor for Eurasia matters, Ambassador Steven Mann and The USA Ambassador in Azerbaijan Reno Harnish held press conference yesterday.
Addressing the conference, Steven Mann said that he came to Azerbaijan to attend the solemn opening ceremony of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan man export oil pipeline in Azerbaijan.

Calling the opening of the pipeline to be gratifying, Steven Mann said that the USE Energy Minster will come to Baku this evening to attend the ceremony. The Energy Minister will present the congratulation letter of the USA President George Bush on the occasion of the exploitation of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline to President Ilham Aliyev."10 years of difficult stage for the construction of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline remained in the past. This project meets the world standards. The ceremony to be held will be the turning point of Eurasia energy projects. The USA always supported this project and will support forever. We shall celebrate the realization of this project together". Later on the participants responded the journalists' questions.

Ambassador Reno Harnish said of the action of opposition held on 21 May not to influence Azerbaijan-USA relations. "The relations between our countries have been established on several components and one these is energy. Inclusion of 1 million barrels of oil to the world market is an important matter. These resources can be used efficiently in case Azerbaijan doesn't leave the way of reforming. Open economy is very important for overcoming poverty. The USA will keep on carrying out reforms in future. Our country supports the right of freedom of assembly of people greatly. This right should be ensured always not only during elections. Regrettably, the meeting was not permitted. We call the government in order to create condition for the people to use the right to freedom of assembly. USA will do its best to establish democracy in Azerbaijan".

Steven Mann brought explanation of the security variants of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. "It was agreed when we launched the project the security problems will be solved by the countries -Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey where the project is realized. The USA has proposed its support in this matter to these countries. Support is comprised of advice and trainings.

Steven Mann also expressed his country's attitude to the Nagorno Karabakh problem. "We have always wished this problem to be resolved in peaceful way. It has been 11 years that ceasefire was announced; the decision of this regime is of more importance. The decision of banks and companies invested to this project is of great importance, too. More than 4 billion was invested to the construction of the main export line; this is a great support to the security of the pipeline." Steven Mann stressed the importance of usage of oil profits in transparent way.

The Ambassador Reno Harnish spoke about the joint projects with Azerbaijan Finance Ministry and Economic Development Ministry. "The main thing is that the country should be interested in transparent activity, struggle against corruption."

The Ambassador Reno Harnish stated about the placing of USA military base in the territory of Azerbaijan to be not real. "There is not any reality in that report. The information on placing of military bases of USA in Kyurdamir is nothing but nonsense".



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