US Secretary of Navy Ray Mabus to Visit Azerbaijan to Discuss Bilateral Cooperation in Security


US Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus will visit Azerbaijan in Nov 20-21, reports US Embassy in Baku. Meeting with Azerbaijani officials, Mabus will discuss bilateral cooperation in security.

US Department of the Navy comprises two services – US Navy and US Marine Corps. Secretary of the Navy reports to Pentagon and is responsible for the whole range of navy-related issues. In particular, Mabus is in charge of programs consistent with US national security policy and goals set by the President or US Secretary of Defense.

According to experts, the visit can be related to possible activation of the US in Caspian region underway realization of Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project. Earlier on, senior advisor for Eurasian energy Daniel D. Stein, US Department of State, emphasized there was no obstacles for implementation of that project. As for him, the US has been supporting the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project for recent 15 years and keeps on doing that today.

If Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, and EU agree to build such gas pipeline, nothing would hinder realization of this project, said Stein at press conference in Ashgabat. As for him, Caspian and Central Asian countries must have a right to make own decision where to export energy products.

It should be noted that the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline is supposed to become the main part of “Southern gas corridor” which also includes NABUCCO pipeline in order to deliver Turkmenian natural gas. The project implies laying of a 300-km pipeline on the bottom of the Caspian Sea from Turkmenistan to Azerbaijan. The EU Council on Sept 12 approved mandate for three-lateral negotiations (EU-Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan) on Trans-Caspian gas pipeline project. Russia and Iran oppose implementation of this project. Moscow and Tehran reiterate about unsettled status of the Caspian Sea and possible ecological consequences of the seabed pipelining. Another Caspian state – Kazakhstan – has not expressed its official posture so far.

Naval Today Staff, November 18, 2011