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The Turkic Council offers a view on an upgrade stemming from economic connectivity projects – The Diplomat


Unofficial Summit of the Turkic Council attended by the prime minister of Hungary and the presidents of Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, as well as the incumbent and former presidents of Kazakhstan, met on March 31st. The group is scheduled to meet for the Eighth Official Summit in the fall of 2021 in Turkey.

The latest meeting closes with two important developments: First, Tashkent demonstrates unity with Azerbaijan and Turkey on the outcome of the latest conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh and the transfer of its territory to the Azerbaijan. Second, some leaders have commented positively on the Turkic Council’s imminent transformation into a political and economic organization as it plans to unite regional economic projects around the organization. this.

At the summit, Uzbekistan’s President Shavkat Mirziyoyev congratulations The President of Azerbaijan and the people of Azerbaijan for regaining the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, which he called “the restoration of historical justice”. He offered to assist in the reconstruction of ancient monuments and other cultural facilities in Nagorno-Karabakh. This statement is the strongest political support Mirziyoyev has for Baku since the ceasefire following a month-long conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia in November 2020. This statement is a clear indication for See which side Tashkent is in the conflict. The choice of the foundation, a meeting of Turkic leaders, to make such a statement is a symbol of solidarity and support for the Turkic brothers.

Mirziyoyev’s policy of supporting Azerbaijan is a continuation of his predecessor’s stance towards Azerbaijan and the Nagorno-Karabakh issue. Officially, Tashkent always considers Nagorno-Karabakh to be the territory of Azerbaijan. The cost of that position was on diplomatic representation. Armenia designates it First ambassador to Uzbekistan in June 2019Although there is no Armenian embassy in Tashkent, he is based in Yerevan. The last time Tashkent showed similar support for Azerbaijan it was 2010 when then President Islam Karimov said that Nagorno-Karabakh was an indivisible territory of Azerbaijan.

The Turkic Council is growing from an informal summit, as it is now called, into an organization with several economic projects anchored around it. The president of the Azerbaijan and Turkey, Ilham Aliyev and Recep Tayyip Erdogan, both talk about a transport corridor connecting Azerbaijan with Turkey and through that connection allows Central Asian countries to link with Europe. Erdogan spoke specifically about the trans-Caspian East-West-Central Corridor, according to its current description will pass through Georgia, Azerbaijan and the Caspian Sea, and reach China using the future Turkmenistan-Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan route.

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The corridor has a plan serve A more economical and quicker alternative to the existing trans-Eurasian trans-Siberian overland railway transporting goods from China to Europe. For Central Asian countries looking for a larger role in the Belt and Road Initiative, these potential projects will strengthen their presence and elevate their significance. Such opportunities to participate in larger projects will be welcomed by Central Asia.

The Presidents of Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Mirziyoyev, emphasized the need for transport projects within the framework of the Turkic Council. Mirziyoyev stated:

Strategically important is to enhance our region’s transport and transit potential. It is important to ensure access across Central Asia to major global markets, including China, India and Pakistan and other Asian countries, as well as from Azerbaijan and Turkey to European countries. . Develop transport corridors in these directions and undertake major projects together to create logistics infrastructure that fully meets our common interests.

Kazakhstan’s first President Nursultan Nazarbayev, who was elected honorary president of the Turkic Council in 2019, said on how the transport routes will increase the role of the Caspian Sea in the project as an option for the shortest and safest route between China and Europe.

It is expected that the Turkic Council will transform into a more politically influential organization, developing from its current informal state. Erdogan and Nazarbayev made a speech in support of the Turkic Council becoming an international organization, which will be formalized at its next meeting.

Some leaders point out that The Turkic Council will move from being just a gathering point of presidents to a political organization, anchored with economic projects, something that has been lacking in its 12 years of existence. Regional infrastructure projects, if implemented, will provide a central project for members to link together.

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