David Cameron: I am a close friend and partner of Azerbaijan

Speaking at the Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition 2013 on 4 June, former UK energy minister, Charles Hendry delivered a personal message of congratulations from UK Prime Minister David Cameron to the people of Azerbaijan.

Mr Cameron said that he welcomed the “strong bilateral relationship” that exists between the UK and Azerbaijan and emphasised the importance of trade agreements between the two countries. Mr Cameron stressed that the UK remained the largest provider of foreign direct investment in Azerbaijan, with UK companies continuing to invest heavily in the oil and gas sectors.

The development and strengthening of Azerbaijan’s role as a provider of energy resources to Europe and other world markets was also highlighted, with Mr Cameron commenting that Azerbaijan would play a central role in global energy provision in the years to come. He also spoke of his delight that BP had been able to play a close part in Azerbaijan’s energy exploration process.

Discussing the Southern Gas Corridor project, Mr Cameron said: “2013 will be an important year for the realisation of the Southern Gas Corridor project, with the continued development of the world class Shah Deniz Field, and a number of key decisions being made on the final pipeline route to Europe. However, much work still needs to be done to realise that this ambition can become reality.”

Mr Cameron went on to describe himself as “a close friend and partner” of Azerbaijan.

The 20th annual Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition is taking place from 4–7 June 2013 at the Baku Expo Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan.

For more information, please visit: www.caspianoil-gas.com

A transcript of the full speech can be read at: www.gov.uk/government/speeches/charles-hendry-mps-message-on-20th-caspian-oil-and-gas-exhibition