Azerbaijan has continued to grow in leaps and bounds as a country over the past decade with the attention of the international community on the country increasing with each passing year. Much of this however is down to the energy sector and the opportunities there. The last decade has seen a growth in the number of energy companies in the country and emergence of energy experts like Anar Mammadov founder of the Azerbaijan America Alliance.
3rd Annual Convention
Presently though, the country is looking closely at more ways to improve the growing alliance between them and the USA. On the 30th of April this year, the 3rd Annual Convention between both countries was held. The convention saw the coming together of delegates from Central Asia, U.S Congress Members, academic and religious leaders to discuss views on how to further enhance this alliance. We are going to go over some of the important discussions that took place.
Importance of Azerbaijan
The importance of Azerbaijan for the U.S was highlighted by Dr Richard Weitz who is a Director at the Hudson Institute. He pointed out how important Azerbaijan is for the U.S by considering its position geographically, in relation to Russia and Iran. According to him, the military dimensions of the country has continued to expand as evidenced by the U.S.-Azerbaijan Caspian Guard Initiative designed to organize the activities carried out in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan coordinating them with those of the U.S Central Command and relevant agencies to improve on security along the Caspian Sea. He cited the need for more of such initiatives.
Julia Nesheiwat who is Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Implementation at the Bureau of Energy Resources talked about important factors that have led to the prosperity seen in Azerbaijan in the past decade but she also showed the need for the gas sector to receive more attention than it is seeing presently seeing as Gas is a resource that can be easily transported to all parts of the world. She pointed out that as the need for global energy continues to soar, energy security will become more of an issue in Europe and the world at large and thus Azerbaijan is best suited for more investments bearing in mind the level of conflicts in other oil resource producers like Venezuela and Nigeria.
Jonathan Elkind who is Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Energy discussed the need for diversification of hydrocarbons and other resources to ensure a more stable economy.
The convention is an annual event that has enormous potentials as far as strengthening U.S Azerbaijan ties is concerned. It has led to visible growth in recent years and analysts expect a lot more over the next decade.