Updated 3.33p.m. - Malta and Azerbaijan have signed a Memorandum of Understanding on strategic cooperation in the oil and gas sector.

The governemnt said both sides recognized the transformation occurring in the Maltese energy sector and the creation of new regional opportunities which could be serviced from Malta.

The main areas of the strategic cooperation will focus on oil and gas exploration, sourcing and logistics of petroleum products, trading in energy commodities in the Mediterranean region, development of new regional infrastructure, and innovative LNG services.

Business planning will commence and will involve the energy ministries of both countries. 

The signing was made by Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi, u Azeri Energy Minister Natiq Aliyev in the presence of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Azerbaijan Prime Minister, Artur Rasi-zade.

Earlier, Dr Muscat had talks with Azeri Presidernt Ilham Aliyev.

They discussed bilateral relations and relations between Azerbaijan and the European Union.

Dr Muscat arrived in Baku late yesterday and was granted a ceremonial welcome.

His talks are expected to focus on the provision of gas from that country, possibly using a pipeline planned to link Azerbaijan with Italy.