Azerbaijan to send LNG cargos to Pak from next month

BAKU (APP): Azerbaijan will start sending cargo containers of Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) to Pakistan from next month, PM Office said on Thursday. The decision was taken at a meeting held between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev at the Azeri capital Baku.
This is the second major achievement for Pakistan towards fulfillment of energy needs after recently receiving the shipment of crude oil from Russia. During the meeting, PM Sharif informed the Azeri president that the federal cabinet had approved receiving the LNG cargos from Azerbaijan. Every month, one cargo on concessional rates will reach Pakistan.
Shehbaz Sharif has been working on the said deal with Azerbaijan for last six months, the PM Office said. The two leaders agreed that Azerbaijan would help Pakistan fulfill its energy needs through cooperation in the fields of oil and gas. Pakistan State Oil (PSO) and State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) will collaborate at government-to-government level to workout the energy resources, the PM Office said.
It was agreed that Azerbaijan would invest in the alternative energy sector of Pakistan including the solar power generation. On import of Pakistani rice to Azerbaijan, both the countries agreed on formulating a comprehensive mechanism on exemption of duty. It was agreed that Azerbaijan Airlines – AZAL, will operate its two flights to Islamabad and Karachi in a week. The two sides also agreed to increase cooperation in defence, agriculture, trade and transport. Pakistan is the second country in the world which recognised Azerbaijan after its independence. On March 1, 2017, then prime minister Nawaz Sharif and President Ilham Aliyev had signed an agreement on cooperation in defence production.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Azerbaijan signed a Statement of Understanding to enhance bilateral cooperation, particularly to boost the volume of energy trade.
The document was signed by Minister for Commerce Syed Naveed Qamar and Azerbaijan’s Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov at a ceremony witnessed by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, along with his cabinet members. The signing of the Statement between Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce and the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan is aimed at promoting bilateral trade.
The document establishes a framework for fostering closer collaboration between Azerbaijan and Pakistan and promoting trade between the two countries. Recognizing the importance of expanding their friendship and economic partnership, the ministers expressed their dedication to diversifying trade and enhancing economic development through this agreement. Under the agreement, both countries will collaborate to create favourable conditions for bilateral trade by sharing trade information, organizing events, conducting studies to identify exportable products, and promoting economic cooperation.
For this purpose, both countries agreed to mobilize their efforts to finalize a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) by early August of 2023. They emphasized the potential benefits that the PTA would bring and affirmed their commitment to working collaboratively to realize the shared goals outlined in the Statement of Understanding. The signing of this agreement marks a significant milestone in the economic partnership between Azerbaijan and Pakistan, strengthening the foundation for increased trade and economic cooperation. It is expected to create new opportunities for businesses, enhance bilateral investment, and contribute to the overall growth and prosperity of both nations.
Shehbaz thanks Azerbaijan for support to IIOJK dispute, assures backing Karabakh issue: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif thanked President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev for his consistent support to Pakistan on the dispute of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IIOJK).
The prime minister in a tweet assured the Azeri president of Pakistan’s steadfast support on the issue of Karabakh. He mentioned that he had a wonderful meeting with President Ilham Aliyev, in which the present state of bilateral relations between the two countries was reviewed. “We have agreed to upgrade the ties commensurate with our excellent relationship,” he said.
PM Shehbaz said, “According to our shared resolve, the enhanced cooperation in trade, investment, energy, defence, tourism, and higher education sectors will form the bedrock of cooperation.” The prime minister said he and his delegation were deeply impressed by the love that the people of Azerbaijan had for Pakistan and its people.
“The sight of Pakistani flags fluttering in Baku was a feast for the eyes,” he added. He said the people-to-people bond based on mutual love and respect was the strength of bilateral relationship. He said the shared resolve at the leadership level had the potential to reshape the bilateral ties in line with demands of the contemporary era. “Together, we will make it happen, Insha Allah,” he said.
The Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also visited Ichari, ancient part of Baku, where he took round of different historical buildings and a museum. He also visited the old Multan Caravan Serai where the trade caravans travelling on the old Silk Road used to reside. The prime minister was shown the artifacts on display in the museum.