Case of Azerbaijan & Kazakhstan: cooperation as tool for reaching new horizons read full article at worldnews365.me










BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 13. The cooperation
between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan during the last 30 years can be
characterized as a shining example of relations built on trust and
respect for mutual interests. Both countries have similar
histories, social contexts and values, which assisted Baku and
Astana in the process of building a strong foundation for long-term
cooperation in many sectors.

In the past, Kazakhstan demonstrated its support during the
critical time of Azerbaijan’s independence, including the approach
exhibited by Kazakh thinkers and politicians during the first
Karabakh war, such as Olzhas Suleymenov, who openly backed the
position of Azerbaijan. To this day, he is held in the highest
regard among Azerbaijanis.

Additionally, upon the conclusion of the second Karabakh war,
Kazakh officials expressed the willingness of the Central Asian
nation to participate in the reconstruction of the liberated
areas.

Both countries have always addressed bilateral policy issues
transparently. Cooperation between Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan on the
issue of the Caspian Sea’s legal status, and Azerbaijan’s position
on several other issues of importance to Kazakhstan, paved the way
for establishing reliable channels of cooperation.

As President Ilham Aliyev said during the meeting with President
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in August 2022, “our agenda today is quite
broad, and we see that the positions of our countries completely
overlap in all directions. This once again shows that Kazakhstan
and Azerbaijan are strategic partners and allies not only in word
but also in deed”.

While all this sounds good, recent developments suggest that we
are on a brink of another breakthrough in relations between the
countries. The quality of projects currently in the portfolio of
Baku and Astana, as well as the ambitious plans of both nations
moving forward, give us valid grounds to suggest that the next
stage of cooperation will open new horizons for the nations.

However, to reach these horizons, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan both
need each other. The past history of the relations between the
nations was merely a taste of things to come. The success of future
ventures depends on the element of bilateral cooperation, which
will be the cornerstone of future relations.

The future is bright

Transport cooperation

Among the many projects currently in the pipeline, the work on
the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR), also known
as the Middle Corridor, deserves the highest level of
attention.

It is not a big secret that Baku and Astana have a significant
level of interest in developing transportation. This interest is a
part of a broader strategy, aimed to diversify the economic
opportunities available to both sides. Economic benefits can be
significant, especially considering that such cooperation will pave
the way for creating job openings for thousands of people and
stimulate local businesses.

Interestingly, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan share and pursue
similar interests in the context of the implementation of the
Middle Corridor. Both countries are a part of the International
North–South Transport Corridor, and both are critical elements of
the architecture of the Middle Corridor transport route.

For Baku and Astana, the implementation of the abovementioned
projects is critical to ensure long-term economic prosperity and
political influence. As the geopolitical turmoil shook the former
Soviet countries, the implementation of the Middle Corridor reached
the top of the decision maker’s agenda in Western states.

High-technology communication

Just several days ago, AzerTelecom and Kazakhtelecom, the
leading telecommunications companies of Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan,
signed an “Agreement on the terms of cooperation” within the
framework of the project on laying a fiber-optic communication line
(FOCL) along the bottom of the Caspian Sea.

The Trans-Caspian Fiber-Optic Communication Line project along
the bottom of the Caspian Sea on the Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan route is
part of the large-scale “Digital Silk Way” project, which envisages
the formation of a digital telecommunication corridor between
Europe and Asia.

The project is a logical step for both sides, as the cooperation
in this sector somewhat lagged behind. Both Azerbaijan and
Kazakhstan are deeply interested in developing a high technological
sector, as the benefits of this sector to the general economy are
obvious.

Energy cooperation

Some people may consider Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to be rivals
in the area of energy. This seems to be perfectly logical and
intuitive, should we look at the question through the lens of a
zero-sum game. After all, if one country exports its resources to a
third side, the other country will be unable to sell the very same
resources to the said third country.

Reality is considerably different. However, this matter should
be assessed from the perspective of cooperation, rather than
rivalry. Baku and Kazakhstan have a unique opportunity to use each
other’s infrastructure and services to boost each other’s exports
while providing much-needed energy security to importers
representing other geographic regions.

An integrative approach to the question of energy cooperation is
the only way to reach a mutually desirable win-win solution for all
parties involved. This is a perfectly rational approach and the
right policy to pursue. Historic lessons, as well as more recent
developments, suggest that Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan will choose
the path of rationality and situational awareness going
forward.

The positive spillover effect of political relations on
economic relations

The outlined projects are far from being implemented fully,
however, the steps taken point to the serious intentions of both
Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan to strengthen cooperation in these
fields. Some global projects, including the Middle Corridor, simply
cannot be finalized without Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.

The overall theme that we can observe in Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan
relations is that initial solid political relations helped the
states to launch cooperation in other fields, such as energy and
transport. Meanwhile, improved relations in these fields led to a
higher level of political cooperation between the nations.

Considering all the above, sky seems to be the limit for the two
Turkic states.

#europeannews #european_news




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