Today.Az » Politics » Ashgabat Declaration seen as demonstration of Azerbaijan's growing role
29 November 2021 [13:10] - Today.Az
By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan’s victory in the 44-day war late last year and ensuing events have confirmed the country's power, political significance, and economic development.
The signing of the final declaration of the 15th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit in Ashgabat on November 28 is another vivid proof that Azerbaijan has strengthened its position after the historic victory achieved in the Second Karabakh War.
The joint document signed by the heads of ten ECO member states (Azerbaijan, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan) fully meets Azerbaijan’s national interests. The declaration congratulates the government and people of Azerbaijan on the liberation of its occupied territories and the restoration of the country’s territorial integrity.
Aliyev's outstanding leadership
U.S. expert Peter Tase told local media that the ECO declaration celebrates the admirable leadership of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev
"The declaration approved by member states of the ECO on the occasion and in congratulating Azerbaijan for its glorious victory in the Second Karabakh War is a call upon Armenia to accept its defeat and open a new chapter of cooperation with Azerbaijan. The ECO declaration celebrates the admirable leadership of President Ilham Aliyev," Tase said.
The expert noted that the ECO member states are eagerly looking forward to collaborating with Azerbaijan in using the Zangazur corridor as a bridge that would connect their industries, commodities, and agricultural producers with the markets of Turkey, the Black Sea Region, and Europe.
Under the Ashgabat Declaration, ECO member countries will study the possibility of investing in reconstruction projects on Azerbaijan's liberated territories.
The Baku-based news website Day.az underlines that the fact that the adopted declaration has the phrase “ corridor in the documents signed by the leaders of Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia” is a vivid example of the successful promotion and implementation of the Zangazur corridor in the ECO region.
“The opening of the Zangazur corridor will undoubtedly have a positive impact and will give an additional impetus to the development of the economies of the ECO countries. With its launching, the importance of East-West and North-South transport corridors will increase. And this, in turn, means that Azerbaijan will in the near future become a key link in the formation of a common economic space from the Black Sea to the Indian Ocean,” the website said.
Azerbaijani MP Vugar Bayramov told local media that one of the discussed issues during the summit was the possibility of expanding cooperation among the member states amid the opening of the Zangazur corridor.
The expert stated that the realization of the Zangazur corridor will create new opportunities for the regional countries.
“In particular, this means the unification of land routes of the Turkic world, which has a gross domestic product worth more than $1.1. trillion,” he said.
The MP added that one of the other important points is to increase the international transportation volume among the regional countries and ECO member states and of course, to expand foreign trade relations. Bayramov emphasized that the volume of cargoes that are transported through the region is expected to increase as a result of the commissioning of the Zangazur corridor.
Economic expert in economic issues Elmir Safarli told local media that the main issue on the agenda is to export goods from China, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and other eastern countries via Azerbaijan through the Zangazur corridor to Europe.
He stated that the Zangazur corridor can be considered a corridor of restoration of the historic Silk Road connecting Europe and Asia.
“The issue of attracting investments to Karabakh region is also very important. The investments are envisaged to be jointly made by local and foreign investors,” he said.
Safarli emphasized that the unification of the Turkic states and ECO member states will strengthen the economic partnership.
ECO member states' support
The fact that the statement was also signed by Iran, on the tense relations with which not so long ago official Yerevan tried to play, and the meeting between the Azerbaijani and Iranian presidents in Ashgabat, are another clear evidence that all is in the past, Day.az reported.
“Iran has accepted the new realities, recognized Azerbaijan’s historic victory, and is ready to make efforts to take concrete steps towards the prosperity of the entire region,” the website added.
It also notes that Iran supports the initiative of the Turkish and Azerbaijani presidents to create a “3+3” format to ensure peace and cooperation in the Caucasus.
An Israeli lawyer, specialist in international law and international politics Mikhail Finkel told local media that it is very important that it was Azerbaijan that received congratulations from the three CSTO member countries in connection with the restoration of territorial integrity as a result of the Second Karabakh War.
"This means that despite the fact that Armenia is a member of the CSTO, closeness and partnership with Azerbaijan is placed much higher for these three countries than any other association with Armenia," he said.
The expert noted that this especially demonstrates the fact that these three CSTO member countries value Azerbaijan, consider it a close country for themselves, empathize with it, and consider its victory a very important milestone, including for themselves.
"It also shows that these countries are not afraid to damage relations with Armenia at the same time, prioritizing and showing who is who even in the hierarchy of the CSTO countries," he said.
He also noted that this is a great victory for Azerbaijan both at the diplomatic and international levels, as well as at the economic level.