U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirms new envoy with Azerbaijan to dilute Russia’s grip on the European energy

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Source: Caspian News

The United States Senate’s Committee on Foreign Relations confirmed the appointment of Earle Litzenberger, a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service, as the next ambassador to the Republic of Azerbaijan on Thursday.

Litzenberger’s most recent job was Senior Advisor in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs at the State Department. He has also served as the Deputy Chief of Mission to the U.S. Mission to NATO; the U.S. embassy in Belgrade, Serbia; and the U.S. embassy in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

“President Trump has reiterated the importance of energy and security cooperation with Azerbaijan in all the letters he addressed to the government in Baku,” Shahinoglu said.

At a time when the U.S. is looking for ways to dilute Russia’s grip on the European energy market, fossil fuel resources in Azerbaijan are being leveraged to help diversify European supplies. President Trump voiced his support for the Southern Gas Corridor – a billion-dollar natural gas mega project that starts at the Shah Deniz gas field in the Caspian Sea and ends in southern Italy. The corridor will deliver, starting in 2020, 10 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas each year to Europe, enough to power 10 million homes. The corridor is also supplying Turkey with an additional six bcm of natural gas per year.

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