Prime Minister Joseph Muscat will head a delegation to Azerbaijan today, but details of the visit have been kept under wraps.
The Office of the Prime Minister has not released any details about the purpose of this trip or who will be forming part of Dr Muscat’s delegation.
The media have not been invited to accompany the Prime Minister on this visit, which The Sunday Times of Malta is informed will include Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi.
Energy will be the main issue on Joseph Muscat’s agenda
The Maltese delegation is expected to stay in Baku until Wednesday.
However, the government’s head of communications failed to respond when asked to confirm the Prime Minister’s visit to Baku and to give details on his meetings in the Azerbaijani capital.
Malta’s ties with the Azerbaijani government – considered a dictatorship by the Western world – are not well developed and go back only a few years.
Sources told The Sunday Times of Malta that energy will be the main issue on Dr Muscat’s agenda since Malta would become almost dependent on Azerbaijani gas once the new Electrogas power station is up and running.
Socar – Azerbaijan’s State energy company – holds a 30 per cent stake in the Electrogas consortium which was awarded the gas-power station contract by the Maltese government.
Apart from supplying LNG to Malta for 18 years, the Azerbaijani State company is also responsible for the LNG supply vessels transporting and storing supplies at the new Delimara power station.
Earlier this year, the daughter of Azerbaijani President, Leyla Aliyeva, was hosted by the Prime Minister’s wife Michelle at Girgenti Palace. Ms Aliyeva runs the Heydar Aliyev Foundation – a charity organisation named after her grandfather, the former president.
Last Friday, the Maltese government signed a €320 million contract with Shanghai Electric Power, making it a shareholder in Enemalta.
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