|2015 GECF summit|
3rd GECF summit
|Date||22–23 November 2015|
|Venue(s)||Ejlas Saran Hall|
|Cities||Chamran Expressway, Tehran|
|Follows||2nd GECF summit|
|Precedes||4th GECF summit|
|Website||Third GECF Gas Summit|
The 3rd GECF summit was a biennial Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit, an international relations conference attended by the heads of state or heads of government of most member states of the GECF. The summit was held in Tehran, Iran, the first time the city has hosted the summit. Iran assumed the chair of the GECF from Russia on 1 January 2014.
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
The summit was announced during the first meeting of the High-Level Ad Hoc Group for the 3rd Gas Summit on 20 May 2015. The group also discussed the draft summit declaration and other issues.
In the days prior to the summit, Secretary-General Mohammad-Hossein Adeli was re-appointed for a second term in his role and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh was chosen as the deputy chairman. Qatari Minister of Energy and Industry Mohammed Saleh Al Sada was chosen as the chairman of the forum. Azerbaijan was also given observer status in the GECF.
Bijan Namdar Zangeneh is an Iranian politician, who served as minister at different cabinets after the Islamic Revolution for 32 years. He has been serving as oil minister since 15 August 2013 in the cabinet led by Hassan Rouhani.
Mohammed Saleh Abdulla Al Sada is the minister of energy and industry of Qatar and the chairman of Qatar Petroleum.
Azerbaijan, officially the Republic of Azerbaijan, is a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded by the Caspian Sea to the east, Russia to the north, Georgia to the northwest, Armenia to the west and Iran to the south. The exclave of Nakhchivan is bounded by Armenia to the north and east, Iran to the south and west, and has an 11 km long border with Turkey in the northwest.
Iran, also called Persia and officially known as the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. The country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center.
Hassan Rouhani is an Iranian politician serving as the current and seventh President of Iran since 3 August 2013. He was also a lawyer, academic, former diplomat and Islamic cleric. He has been a member of Iran's Assembly of Experts since 1999, member of the Expediency Council since 1991, and a member of the Supreme National Security Council since 1989. Rouhani was deputy speaker of the fourth and fifth terms of the Parliament of Iran (Majlis) and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from 1989 to 2005. In the latter capacity, he was the country's top negotiator with the EU three, UK, France, and Germany, on nuclear technology in Iran, and has also served as a Shi'ite ijtihadi cleric, and economic trade negotiator. He has expressed official support for upholding the rights of ethnic and religious minorities. In 2013, he appointed former industries minister Eshaq Jahangiri as his first vice-president.
The President of Iran is the head of government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The President is the highest ranking official of Iran. The President carries out the decrees, and answers to the Supreme Leader of Iran, who functions as the country's head of state. Unlike the executive in other countries, the President of Iran does not have full control over anything, as these are ultimately under the control of the Supreme Leader. Chapter IX of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran sets forth the qualifications for presidential candidates. The procedures for presidential election and all other elections in Iran are outlined by the Supreme Leader. The President functions as the executive of the decrees and wishes of the Supreme Leader. These include signing treaties and other agreements with foreign countries and international organizations, with Supreme Leader's approval; administering national planning, budget, and state employment affairs, as decreed by the Supreme Leader. The President also appoints the ministers, subject to the approval of Parliament, and the Supreme Leader who can dismiss or reinstate any of the ministers at any time, regardless of the president or parliament's decision. The Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei directly chooses the ministries of Defense, Intelligence and Foreign Affairs, as well as certain other ministries, such as the Science Ministry. Iran’s regional policy is directly controlled by the office of the Supreme Leader with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ task limited to protocol and ceremonial occasions. All of Iran’s ambassadors to Arab countries, for example, are chosen by the Quds Corps, which directly reports to the Supreme Leader.
Iraq, officially known as the Republic of Iraq, is a country in Western Asia, bordered by Turkey to the north, Iran to the east, Kuwait to the southeast, Saudi Arabia to the south, Jordan to the southwest and Syria to the west. The capital, and largest city, is Baghdad. Iraq is home to diverse ethnic groups including Arabs, Kurds, Assyrians, Turkmen, Shabakis, Yazidis, Armenians, Mandeans, Circassians and Kawliya. Around 95% of the country's 37 million citizens are Muslims, with Christianity, Yarsan, Yezidism and Mandeanism also present. The official languages of Iraq are Arabic and Kurdish.
Muhammad Fuad Masum is an Iraqi Kurdish politician who served as President of Iraq from 24 July 2014 to 2 October 2018. He was elected as President following the 2014 parliamentary election. Masum is the second non-Arab president of Iraq, succeeding Jalal Talabani, also Kurdish, and was a confidant of Talabani.
The President of Iraq is the head of state of Iraq and "safeguards the commitment to the Constitution and the preservation of Iraq's independence, sovereignty, unity, the security of its territories in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution". The President is elected by the Council of Representatives by a two-thirds majority, and is limited to two four-year terms. The President is responsible for ratifying treaties and laws passed by the Council of Representatives, issues pardons on the recommendation of the Prime Minister, and performs the "duty of the Higher Command of the armed forces for ceremonial and honorary purposes". Since the mid-2000s, the Presidency is primarily a symbolic office, and by convention since 2005, usually held by a Kurdish Iraqi.
Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev is an Azerbaijani politician and currently the fourth President of Azerbaijan, in office since 2003. He also functions as the Chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party and the head of the National Olympic Committee.
The President of the Republic of Azerbaijan is the head of state of Azerbaijan.
Turkmenistan, formerly known as Turkmenia, officially the Republic of Turkmenistan, is a country in Central Asia, bordered by Kazakhstan to the northwest, Uzbekistan to the north and east, Afghanistan to the southeast, Iran to the south and southwest, and the Caspian Sea to the west. Ashgabat is the capital and largest city. The population of the country is 5.6 million, the lowest of the Central Asian republics and one of the most sparsely populated in Asia.
The final communique underscored the need for stronger cooperation, including the transfer of expertise and pricing mechanisms. It also called for cooperation in the security of natural gas supplies to the global markets. It further objected to the application of extraterritorial laws, regulations and economic sanctions within the sector against the GECF member states.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameini. The two discussed "issues in bilateral relations, including atomic energy, oil and gas, and military-technical cooperation," according to his Putin's foreign policy aide, Yuri Ushakov. Putin also met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.All nine member states will bilaterally meet with Rouhani as well. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also met his host counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Iran-Russia relations were strengthened by the signing of seven[ which? ] memorandum of understandings. Rouhani said that "there are also an abundance of projects in various economic fields which can bear fruit in joint partnership" and added that there are many projects in the fields of energy, oil, gas and electricity. He further noted agreements were made to expand cooperation against what were "threat[s] for the region and the world." In a meeting with Putin, Khameini warned against the U.S. plot against West Asia via control of Syria. "This plot is a threat to all nations and countries, particularly Russia and Iran." He also hailed Russia's role in regional issues, such as the Syrian conflict and that such measures enhanced its regional and international standing, in particular that of Putin. "The Americans have always been trying to place their rivals in a position of passivity but you have foiled such a policy."
Iranians Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani met with Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal. After the meeting Larijani criticised Western countries for double standard policies on human rights, which he said were used to create insecurity and instability and that countries he did not name had helped non-state groups that cause insecurity in the Middle East. He further pointed to Algeria and North African states' capacities to boost economic and political cooperation with Iran and hoped that the formation of the Iran-Algeria Joint Economic Commission would improve mutual cooperation. Sellal added that called for cooperation in fighting groups such as ISIL. In particular, he said Iran can play an effective role in restoring security to the region.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif met his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyeama, and warned of the dangers posed by groups such as Boko Haram, Daesh and al-Shabaab. "Ever-growing threats of extremism in the world are rooted in false beliefs of Takfiri groups and lack of genuine attention to financial and ideological sources nurturing these groups." He further called on Muslim and African countries to reinforce their solidarity and cooperation to battle such groups.
Rouhani met Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro called for boosting Iran-Venezuela relations and oil producer countries need to enhance their cooperation to improve the oil market. "Iran and Venezuela share close viewpoints on political issues and regional developments;" he cited their opposition to the violation of the rights of Palestinians and the fight against non-state militant activity as well as the in Iraq and Syria and the restoration of security. He also called for GECF member states to produce clean energy and protect the environment. Maduro echoed for a further boost in relations upon the lifting of Iranian sanctions following the JCPOA.
Khamenei met Iraqi President Fuad Masum and called for unity against rhetoric calling for its partition. "The people of Iraq, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds and Arabs, have been co-existing without a problem for centuries; but, unfortunately, certain regional countries as well as foreigners seek to exaggerate disagreements." He noted that such comments to the contrary allowed for meddling by outsiders. "Why should such a country as Iraq – a large, prosperous country with a thousand-year history – be disintegrated and divided into smaller parts, and thereby always be exposed to disagreement and confrontation?" He also said the youth had undergone an awakening and are now aware of their capabilities, in particular the Popular Mobilisation Forces in Iraq were a manifestation of such an awakening. In turn, Masum heeded the advice, especially at a time of the ISIL insurgency.
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The Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) is an intergovernmental organization of 11 of the world's leading natural gas producers made up of Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela. GECF members together control over 70% of the world's natural gas reserves, 38% of the pipeline trade and 85% of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) production. The three largest reserve-holders in the GECF – Russia, Iran and Qatar – together hold about 57% of global gas reserves.
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Croatian–Iranian relations refer to bilateral foreign relations between Croatia and Iran. Both countries established diplomatic relations on April 18, 1992 when Iran became the 7th world-, 1st Asian- and 1st Muslim dominated- country to recognize the newly independent Croatia. Croatia has an embassy in Tehran while Iran has an embassy and a cultural center in Zagreb. Relations among two countries are described as good and friendly.
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Amos J. Hochstein is a U.S. businessman, former diplomat, lobbyist, and national security and energy expert. He has worked in the U.S. Congress, has testified before congressional panels and has served under the Barack Obama administration under Secretaries of State Clinton and Kerry. He was appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in 2011 and as Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs. In 2015, President Barack Obama nominated Hochstein to be the Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Ressources.
Iran–Thailand relations refer to the bilateral relations between Iran and Thailand. Iran has an embassy in Bangkok while Thailand has an embassy in Tehran.
Iran–Qatar relations refer to the bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the State of Qatar. Iran has an embassy in Doha while Qatar has an embassy in Tehran. Qatar and Iran have close ties but relations between the two countries were soured after Saudi Arabia severed ties with Iran following the January 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
On 8 January 2017, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, the fourth President of Iran and the country's Chairman of Expediency Discernment Council, died at the age of 82 after suffering a heart attack. He was transferred to a hospital in Tajrish, north Tehran without consciousness. Attempts at cardiopulmonary resuscitation for more than an hour trying to revive him were unsuccessful and he died at 19:30 local time (UTC+3:30).
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