BAKU, November 12, 7:50 /ITAR-TASS/. President Ilham Aliev of Azerbaijan is expected to meet with his Turkish opposite number Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.
Diplomatic sources in Baku said the two Presidents will chair the third session of the Supreme Council for Bilateral Strategic Cooperation.
Ankara is the first foreign destination for Ilham Aliev after his victory in the October 9 presidential election.
At the talks, the sides will focus on the strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation and, in the first place, on the prospects for boosting trade. Mustafa Isen, Abdullah Gul’s aide told reporters the Turkish government plans redoubling to the trade turnover with Azerbaijan, which currently stands at $ 5 billion, in the short term.
Both sides find a buildup of investments especially promising.
The State Oil Company of the Azerbaijani Republic /Socar/ is a major investor in the Turkish economy. It is expected to build the Star oil refinery with a capacity for 10 million tons of produce in Turkey by 2016.
Also, Socar is building a container transshipment port in Turkey that is destined to become one of the largest ports of this type in the world. Investment in the project is likely to stand at $ 400 million.
A number of other projects, like the construction of a Trans-Anatolian Pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway present a doubtless interest. The pipeline is to become an important segment of the South Stream gas corridor for the transportation of Caspian natural gas to European countries.
The dragged-out conflict in the mostly Armenian-populated enclave region of Nagorno-Karabakh is destined to have a notable place among the regional issues. Aliev and his Turkish counterparts may ponder a stepping-up of Turkey’s role in the Karabakh peace settlement process.
Sources said Aliev and Gul will discuss a range of other regional and international problems, too.