TASHKENT, December 18. /“Dunyo” IA/. On December 14 a webinar was held on the topic: "25 years of Uzbek-Azerbaijani relations: achievements and prospects". The event was organized by the Institute for Strategic and Regional studies under the President of Uzbekistan together with the Center for Analysis of International Relations of the Republic of Azerbaijan. It was attended by experts from the leading "think tanks" of the two countries, as well as representatives of the diplomatic corps, reports “Dunyo” IA correspondent.
The meeting allowed for a thorough exchange of views on further building up and deepening multifaceted mutually beneficial cooperation and strategic partnership.
The participants of the event stressed that “in recent years, thanks to the strong political will of the leaders of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, relations between the countries raised to a qualitatively new level of strategic partnership”.
It was noted that regular contacts of the heads of state set the general tone for interstate relations and open up new horizons for cooperation.
Experts stressed the importance of using the full potential of cooperation between Tashkent and Baku in such areas as trade, transport, industrial cooperation, tourism, construction, etc.
During the webinar, Azerbaijani experts shared their assessments of the state and prospects of bilateral relations in areas of mutual interest.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan Huseyn Guliyev noted the positive dynamics in the development of relations between the countries. It was especially emphasized that in 2021, bilateral trade grew and reached the highest level in the last 5 years. Interaction has been established within the framework of such multilateral structures as the UN, OSCE, CIS, OTS and ECO. It is deeply symbolic, the diplomat noted that it was within the framework of the meeting of the Turkic Council in Baku in 2019 that Uzbekistan became a full member of this Organization"
At the same time, a senior consultant at the Baku International Center for Multiculturalism, Toffik Abbasov, believes that there is a huge untapped potential between the countries. In this regard, “investors from both countries need to look closely towards each other. Because "politics is again becoming a concentrated expression of the economy".
The expert called the instability in Afghanistan, which has been an unhealed wound for a long time, as a deterrent for all Central Asian countries. In his words, the presence of the Afghan factor in the region does not allow Uzbekistan to fully reveal its full potential.
In this regard, the Azerbaijani expert supported the policy pursued by the President of Uzbekistan in the Afghan direction, where Tashkent, without looking back at others, acts on the basis of its own vision of the situation.
“In recent years, the leader of Uzbekistan took the situation into his own hands in order to find an algorithm to stabilize the situation inside and around Afghanistan”, he stressed.
In this regard, Farid Shafiyev, Chairman of the Center of Analysis of International Relations, believes that “today Uzbekistan is an important actor in Central Asia, on which the stability and security of the entire region depends. Azerbaijan supports Uzbekistan’s efforts to create the Trans-Afghan route, which in the future may become an important component of the median corridor connecting China, Central Asian countries, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Europe".
At the same time, the head of the club of political scientists "South Caucasus" Ilgar Velizade believes that in the context of increasing the relevance of the development of trade and economic relations between the two countries, it is necessary to use the entire potential of cooperation to improve the structure of trade through the development of industrial and agricultural cooperation, development of the service sector and tourism. Great opportunities are opening up in the development of investment interaction. "Azerbaijani and Uzbek investors are considering the possibility of implementing large investment projects in each of the countries", the expert emphasized.
The political scientist believes that the geo-economic position of Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan forms a kind of "hub" - the center of intersection of paths and interests. In this context, the participation of Uzbekistan in the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway communication actualizes the issue of the implementation of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan-Turkmenistan transport corridor. This will connect the two routes into a single transport network. At the same time, as the Azerbaijani political scientist pointed out, with the restoration of the Zangezur corridor, new opportunities will appear for all countries in the region.
Nurad Mammedov, Advisor of the Center for Analysis of International Relations, added that the Zangezur corridor will contribute to the expansion of regional transport networks, increase the region’s capabilities in international transport corridors, such as the international North-South and West-East corridors.
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