Digest January 25 2018
Greetings from the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Washington, D.C.
This edition of the Embassy’s digest features news on participation of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the World Economic Forum held in Davos, Switzerland, increased contribution by Azerbaijan within NATO-Led Peacekeeping force, a $1.3 billion investment in the Southern Gas Corridor and article by Ambassador Elin Suleymanov on the inspiring UEFA Champions League run of Azerbaijan’s Qarabag soccer club.
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev attended some 30 meetings and panel discussions at the World Economic Forum in Davos. These meetings focused at expanding economic cooperation and international partnerships of Azerbaijan.
President spoke at the event and responded to participants' questions. President Aliyev highlighted the achievement of Azerbaijan in diversifying economy. He underlined mutual interests, balance of interests and good relations with the neighbors, as well as large scale projects initiated by Azerbaijan, including Southern Gas Corridor.
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Davos. At the meeting, they recalled with satisfaction the visit of Benjamin Netanyahu to Azerbaijan, and emphasized that the results of the visit gave new impetus to the development of Azerbaijani-Israeli relations. During the conversation, the sides discussed various aspects of bilateral relations, and exchanged views on future cooperation.
In 2017 Azerbaijan submitted bid for World Expo 2025. On January 23, 2018 Azerbaijan hosted a Gala event in Davos to bring Baku’s message to a wide range of decision makers who attended the evening.
Ambassador Elchin Amirbayov, head of the Baku Expo 2025 Taskforce, stated that Baku’s bid theme, ‘Developing human capital, building a better future’, fitted naturally into the broader topic of the theme of the World Economic Forum this year, ‘Creating a Shared Future in a Fractured World.’
Dec. 18, 2017
Ambassador Suleymanov writes on Qarabag FK, a scrappy soccer team from the Nagano-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan that recently finished a gallant run in the UEFA Champions League soccer tournament. The Cinderella story of Qarabag FK did not end with a glass slipper, but the hope it provided to its home country was very real.
Jan. 16, 2018
IBM and SOCAR, Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company, will form a joint venture called the Caspian Innovation Center to build and operate a competitive analytics and delivery center to provide IT, business transformation and business consulting services in Azerbaijan and other countries.
The SOCAR-IBM joint venture will offer its services to SOCAR and other companies in the region, in order to facilitate digital business transformation and boost the efficiency of production in the energy industry and across sectors.
Jan. 17, 2017
The state-owned firm that manages the Southern Gas Corridor through Azerbaijan is expected to allocate about $1.3 billion to finance Azerbaijan's share in the pipeline project. The Southern Gas Corridor, which will deliver gas from Azerbaijan’s Caspian Sea Shah Deniz field to Europe, is one of the priority energy projects for the European Union, which aims to diversify routes and sources of energy supplies and thereby improve the energy security of the EU.
Jan. 9, 2018
The U.S. State Department’s Acting Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs Sue Saarnio will visit Azerbaijan to take part in the upcoming meeting of the Southern Gas Corridor Consultative Council to be held February 15 in Baku.
In November, Saarnio said, “Our countries have a longstanding bilateral relationship, with energy playing a key role,” he Southern Gas Corridor will make a significant contribution to Europe’s energy security.”
Jan. 10, 2018
Azerbaijan is increasing its role as a key partner in international efforts to increase security and stability in Afghanistan by sending 70 servicemen to Afghanistan as part of a NATO-led peacekeeping mission. In addition to troops, Azerbaijan supports NATO in other vital ways, such as allowing NATO planes to fly through Azerbaijan’s airspace and use the country’s airports. About 40 percent of all cargo destined for the NATO mission in Afghanistan passes through Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku.
Nov. 27, 2017
Irada Akhoundova, president of the Houston-Baku Sister City Association, writes in the Houston Chronicle: “The idea of sister cities may seem purely ceremonial to some in the United States. But I can assure you, when Houston and Baku became sister cities in 1976, it had a big impact on Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan was a part of the U.S.S.R., and there was not much contact between East and West. There was not one single Azerbaijani living in Houston.”
Jan. 9, 2018
As part of its efforts to diversity Azerbaijan’s economy beyond oil, the Government has increased promotion of tourism. Those efforts are paying off. Last year saw a 20 percent jump in foreign tourists visiting Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan was the destination of choice for holiday-makers from Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Iran, the United Arab Emirates and several other nations.
Jan. 8, 2018
In November, UNESCO added the picturesque northwestern Azerbaijan city of Sheki to its Creative Cities Network, a move that will boost tourism, officials say. Visitors to Sheki, which has a history dating back 3,700 years and minted its own ancient currency, are struck by its architecture, art and delicious sweets.
Jan. 17, 2018
New York’s famed Metropolitan Museum of Art has received the “Encyclopedia of Azerbaijan Carpet,” a comprehensive guide to the world-renowned hand-woven decorative carpets crafted by Azerbaijanis. Azerbaijan’s carpets have enjoyed honorary residence in the White House, the State Department and the world’s greatest museums.