Hungarian Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsány called for a continued dynamic development of economic ties with Azerbaijan, after arriving in Baku on Monday.
Gyurcsány is on a tour of the Caspian region including Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Gyurcsány met with Azerbaijan’s head of state Ilham Aliyev to discuss ways to improve cooperation between the two countries. Mr Gyurcsány was only the third head of state to be receive at Aliyev’s new presidential palace. The first two were Ukraine’s Viktor Yushchenko and Russia’s Dmitry Medvedev. Gyurcsány told Azeri Prime Minister Artur Rasizade that there can be no Nabucco pipeline without Azerbaijan. Rasizade said economic connections between the two countries should be rewarded to allow them to progress at the same pace as political connections.
Gyurcsány opened a business forum in Baku, where he called for boosting cooperation in infrastructure, the food industry, the banking sector and the energy sector. Azerbaijan can play a leading role in the EU’s energy policy, he said. Responding to questions by Azeri reporters concerning the Nabucco gas pipeline project, Gyurcsány said that Europe was interested in finding early and stable solutions to ensure secure energy supplies. He added that if the pipeline were completed, Hungary alone would buy an annual 1-2 billion cubic meters of natural gas from Azerbaijan.
Gyurcsány reiterated that Europe seeks to meet its natural gas demand of an extra 150-200 billion cubic meters of gas by 2025, but Nabucco, with a planned capacity of 30 billion cubic meters, would only supply a portion of that.
The EU-backed Nabucco pipeline will deliver gas from Central Asia to Europe, reducing the region’s energy dependency on Russia. Gyurcsány signed three bilateral agreements and one declaration of intent during his visit. (MTI-Econews)