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Kerry: U.S. a Complete Partner in Azerbaijan’s Efforts to Develop its Energy Resources

The Contract of the Century was a historic event representing the first major Western investment in the entire former Soviet Union, the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry's letter said.

The letter was addressed to the participants of the ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and groundbreaking of the Southern Gas Corridor held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

The letter was read by the U.S. State Department Representative Amos Hochstein.

"Over the past 20 years, the U.S. has been a complete partner in Azerbaijan's efforts to develop its energy resources, contribute to European and world energy supplies, and become a strong and independent nation," the letter said.

"Along with the construction of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, Azerbaijan became a major supplier of oil to the world markets by creating the first direct energy link between the Caspian and the Mediterranean seas. Azerbaijan will play an important role through the Southern Gas Corridor to provide additional energy supply routes to European markets, and strengthen the region's energy security," the letter said.

Kerry said the Contract of the Century reminds what is possible when moving together towards the future, adding that this is true across the board, from further energy development and counterterrorism cooperation to advancing democratic development in Azerbaijan.

"The three pillars of our relationship – security, energy and economic development, and democracy and civil society – are all essential to the vision of a stronger, more stable, and more prosperous Azerbaijan," John Kerry said in his letter.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also expressed hope for further close cooperation with Azerbaijan on all issues.

On Sept. 20, Azerbaijani capital of Baku hosted a solemn ceremony marking the 20th anniversary of the Contract of the Century and groundbreaking of the Southern Gas Corridor.

The ceremony was attended by the Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, heads of a number of states and governments, officials, foreign diplomats accredited in Azerbaijan, as well as foreign guests.

Source: Trend

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