Today.Az » Business » Afghanistan aims to get access to Europe through Azerbaijan
13 April 2015 [11:40] - Today.Az
The relations between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan have been actively developing in recent times. The countries are examining the prospects for cooperation in various spheres of economy. With this purpose, a delegation from Afghanistan has recently visited Baku and several strategic negotiations were held during that visit. Currently, the relations between the two countries are developing, however, both of the countries are dissatisfied with this level.
Which prospects can be created for the development of Afghan-Azerbaijani relations?
Afghanistan is one of the first countries to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence on Dec.21, 1991. The diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1994. Afghanistan opened its embassy in Azerbaijan in 2012. In connection with the similarity of the two countries’ political positions, Afghanistan supports Azerbaijan in the issue of settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. The country has repeatedly expressed support to Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity.
From the economic point of view, the cargo transportation is the promising sphere of cooperation with Afghanistan and it can be one of the leading business spheres.
Afghanistan is more interested in the development of the relations in this sphere. Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway can serve as an example in this regard. On the basis of this project, Afghanistan intends to expand its railway towards Europe. In fact, Afghanistan is thinking of getting access to Europe through Turkmenistan, further through the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. This issue was discussed during the meeting of presidents of Turkey and Turkmenistan. Moreover, Kabul put forward a proposal to jointly develop lapis lazuli deposits. At the same time, Afghanistan sends its citizens to study in Azerbaijani universities and seeks to further expand this process.
Moreover, Afghanistan and Azerbaijan also have certain relations in the military sphere: there are 94 servicemen of Azerbaijani armed forces among the international forces ensuring Afghanistan’s security. As part of the Turkish battalion, they ensure the protection of the TV Tower Hill in Kabul, provide the security of the arms depot of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and conduct patrols.
Nevertheless, the main concern related to Afghanistan is the security issue. It is mainly related to the uncertain situation in the country, armed clashes, extremism and illegal drug trafficking.
Although large US and NATO contingents serve in the country, the situation is not getting better. All this leads to losses among the civilians and servicemen. Moreover, the unification of the forces and the joint activities of Taliban and the “Islamic State” is one of the main problems that should be in the spotlight.
In one word, the expansion of relations between the two countries in business and other fields is commendable and is an important factor. But making investments in Afghanistan is very risky.
Naturally, a number of bilateral projects can be implemented in order to create a global business environment, however, security remains the main issue. Not Azerbaijan, but Afghanistan should think over this issue in order to create proper conditions for the mutual cooperation.