Speech by Ilham Aliyev at the official opening ceremony of TANAP project
12 june 2018, 19:15
My dear brother, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan,
Ladies and gentlemen.
First of all, I want to say how delighted I am to be on brotherly Turkish soil again. We in Azerbaijan are very pleased with the success achieved under the leadership of President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Thanks to the tireless activity of President Erdogan, Turkey has become a great force on a global scale. Turkey is a country that determines the world's agenda. We in Azerbaijan are very happy about this. Turkey’s strength is also ours, and our strength is in unity. We have been demonstrating this unity for many years. It is very difficult to find other countries in the world today that would be so close to each other, that would support each other so much. Turkish-Azerbaijani unity and brotherhood are an important factor for our countries, for our peoples, for the region, and for Eurasia.
The commissioning of TANAP today is yet another manifestation of the Turkish-Azerbaijani brotherhood. TANAP is another victory for Turkey and Azerbaijan. TANAP is a historic project. Today we are writing the energy history of the 21st century together. This is a history of cooperation, a history of stability. Our energy projects bring stability to the region. All countries and companies participating in these projects are benefiting from them. People benefit from them. The implementation of such a giant project as TANAP has been possible thanks to the firm political will of the leaders of Turkey and Azerbaijan.
This is not our first joint project. Prior to this, in 2006, we celebrated the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. In 2007, we they opened the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline together. Last year, we opened the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway together. We participated in all these opening ceremonies together with my dear brother Recep Tayyip Erdogan. And today, on this historic day, we are also together. This shows that any project put forward on our initiative is executed because it is underpinned by our thoughtful policy, firm will and brotherhood.
Numerous discussions have been held in recent years on the supply of large volumes of Azerbaijani gas to the European continent. Many events have been organized. Unfortunately, they were all ineffectual. This is why Turkey and Azerbaijan reached the decision to put forward a new project, which they together called TANAP. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and I signed the TANAP agreement in Istanbul in 2012. During the signing ceremony on that day, we expressed our desire to see today, and Allah has granted us this opportunity. We have done a great job over the years. The implementation of the TANAP project has been very difficult both technically and financially. But we have coped with it very successfully. The commissioning of TANAP today will usher ample opportunities for neighboring and friendly countries. TANAP links seven countries and many companies. TANAP, which is an integral part of the Southern Gas Corridor, is an indispensable infrastructure project addressing energy security issues today and in the future. The official opening ceremony of the Southern Gas Corridor was organized in Baku two weeks ago, on May 29. The Southern Gas Corridor consists of four major projects. The development of the Shah Deniz-2 gas field – the reserves of this field are estimated at 1.2 trillion cubic meters – the South Caucasus Pipeline, TANAP and TAP projects. Three of these four projects have already been implemented and completed. TAP is 72 per cent through. I am confident that the TAP project will also be completed in the next two years. Thus, the largest infrastructure project in Europe, the Southern Gas Corridor, which requires investments of $40 billion, will be implemented. This historic achievement will allow us the opportunity to supply Azerbaijan's ample gas resources to the markets of Turkey and Europe in a short, safe and diversified manner.
The Southern Gas Corridor is a project of energy security. Energy security is a matter of national security for any country. This is the meaning of the Southern Gas Corridor – energy security and diversification of energy resources. Azerbaijani gas will be supplied to the markets of Turkey and Europe by means of the Southern Gas Corridor and via new routes. The Southern Gas Corridor is a project of new routes and a new source. It serves the interests of energy diversification in the true sense of the word.
SOCAR, BOTAŞ and BP participated in the implementation of this great work. They are the shareholders of TANAP. I want to express my gratitude to them. I am grateful to all the companies involved in this work for their ability to complete such an uphill task with high quality and in a short time. The Southern Gas Corridor forms a new format of cooperation and interaction in Eurasia. Whereas at the beginning of our work, in the early 2000s, a format of tripartite cooperation of Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey was created, today, as I have already mentioned, seven countries are involved in this project. Three more countries will take part in this project as our future partners. We must try to do even more to supply Azerbaijani gas to the European continent, so that our sphere of coverage becomes even wider.
I want to say again: it is a historic day today. It has become possible only because of our firm political will. Without the Turkey-Azerbaijan unity and brotherhood, this project would have remained on paper. Of course, I want to say again: the fact that Turkey has proved to be a great country for foreign investment has translated in major investment in Turkey. In recent years, investments exceeding $13 billion have been made in the Turkish economy from the Azerbaijani side alone. This figure will reach $20 billion in the coming years.
I want to sincerely congratulate you, all our people and friends on this remarkable occasion, and wish TANAP a good journey. Thank you.