Today a webinar on "Regional geopolitical polarization and Turkey-Azerbaijan relations” jointly organized by the Center of Analysis of International Relations (AIR Center) and the Center for Strategic Research of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey (SAM).
SAM Chairman Dr. Ufuk Ulutas noted that there are deep spiritual connections between two states, and these relationships are developing at a strategic, academic and intellectual level. According to him, such meetings contribute to the further development of these relations.
Ambassador Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of AIR Center touched upon important events which have recently taken place in the region and around Turkey. He noted that relations between Azerbaijan and Turkey have historical roots, and we marked the 102ndanniversary of Baku's liberation by the Caucasus Islamic Army, under the command of Nuru Pasha yesterday. Ambassador Farid Shafiyev added that after Azerbaijan gained independence, bilateral relations have entered a new stage and have been developing fast under the slogan "One Nation, Two States."
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Yavuz Selim Kıran emphasized that in addition to strategic partnership, the Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are also developing at the level of friendship and brotherhood. The Deputy Foreign Minister noted that bilateral relations between the countries developed under the strong leadership of the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Turkey. According to him, today Azerbaijan's investment in Turkey is around $20 billion, and Turkish investment in Azerbaijan is $11billion. He also underlined the importance of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum (BTE) gas pipeline, the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP) as well as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway projects in the development of relationships. Yavuz Selim Kıran noted that the South Caucasus has a strategic importance and location. According to him the conflicts prevent full-fledged cooperation in the region. He added that aggressive policy of Armenia is an obstacle to the development of the region. Armenia has been creating problems in the region. Armenia resorts to provocation to divert attention from its domestic problems. Turkey continues to strongly support the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict within the framework of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity and international law. Armenia should immediately withdraw from occupied Azerbaijani territories. If the occupation continues to date, it means the occupant is emboldened. The provocation conducted by Armenia in the direction of the Tovuz region of the Republic of Azerbaijan demonstrates that Armenia is the main obstacle to the development of the region.
In turn, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov stressed that Azerbaijan and Turkey continue to cooperate success fully in all spheres. Mr. Khalafov stressed that cooperation between the two fraternal countries also contributes to the stability and security of the region. According to him Turkish support to Azerbaijan in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over the occupation of historical Azerbaijani territories by Armenia is very important. It is especially important that Turkey had closed its borders with Armenia since 1993 and supports the position of Azerbaijan in all international organizations. It is worth noting that high-ranking Turkish officials and the public supported Azerbaijan during the Armenian artillery shelling of the Tovuz region on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border on July 12, 2020. The development of relations with Turkey is an important part of Azerbaijan's foreign policy, and fraternal relations and mutual support between the two countries are not directed against third countries.
Chief of the Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey, Ambassador Yonet Can Tezel noted that stable Turkish-Azerbaijani relations are highly important in an uncertain world. He emphasized that those people who thought that during the Tovuz events Turkey would be very busy in Syria and the Mediterranean were wrong, because Turkey will always support Azerbaijan. He added that Turkey supports Azerbaijan not only owing to historical, cultural and fraternal ties, but also because of the fair position of Azerbaijan.
Head of Department at the AIR Center, Dr. Javid Valiyev made specific proposals for the development of bilateral relations. According to him, a format of coordination and dialogue between the two countries should be formed at the level of Foreign Ministers. In addition, a special place should be given to those people who write about foreign and security issues of the countries in the Turkish and Azerbaijani media. He also emphasized the importance of organizing courses for young diplomats from the Turkish and Azerbaijani Foreign Ministries. According to Javid Valiyev, the trilateral cooperation formats established by Turkey and Azerbaijan such as Azerbaijan-Turkey-Georgia, Azerbaijan-Turkey-Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan-Turkey-Pakistan and Azerbaijan-Turkey-Iran should be used more frequently.
The webinar was finalized with the Q&A session.