Baku to start shipping ‘cheap’ LNG from next month
Baku to start shipping ‘cheap’ LNG from next month

Following a two-day visit by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Azerbaijan on Thursday agreed to start shipments of LNG cargoes to Pakistan at “cheaper rates” from next month, said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.

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According to the Prime Minister’s Office, the prime minister held a meeting with Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev at Zagulba Palace wherein it was decided that Azerbaijan will start sending shipments of LNG to Pakistan from next month. Every month, one cargo on concessional rates will reach Pakistan.

At a joint press stakeout following the bilateral meeting, PM Sharif and President Aliyev announced Azerbaijan Airlines agreed to introduce flights between Islamabad and Baku. Azerbaijan Airlines will also operate one flight to Karachi every week.

They also agreed to enhance the number of military exercises, besides exploring the avenues of cooperation in the areas of energy, investment, and education.

During the meeting, PM Sharif informed the Azeri president that the federal cabinet had approved the LNG deal with Azerbaijan.

The Pakistan State Oil and State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic will collaborate at the government-to-government level to work out the energy resources, the PM Office said.

On the import of Pakistani rice to Azerbaijan, both countries agreed on a comprehensive mechanism rega­rding the exemption of duty.

The PM thanked Azerbaijan for being a “staunch supporter of Kashmiris’ rights and highlighted the Indian acts of terror and atrocities” in the occupied region, including the violations of United Nations resolutions. He reiterated that Pakistan was committed to the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and appreciated the “bravery of its forces for fighting for the country’s rights”.

Extending an invitation to President Aliyev to visit Pakistan, the PM said he also looked forward to the Azerbaijan delegations of economic, aviation and energy ministers to discuss cooperation in various sectors.

The Azeri president said both countries agreed to increase the number of military exercises as the military capability was of the “utmost importance considering the changing circumstances”. He said strong military capacity guaranteed independence and territorial integrity as Azerbaijan also “liberated its Karabakh region through its military might, not dialogue”.

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