Analysing the Turkic Vector of Azerbaijan’s Overseas Policy

Analysing the Turkic Vector of Azerbaijan’s Overseas Policy

The Organisation of Turkic States (OTS) is one particular of the principal international coverage initiatives of Azerbaijan. In his swearing-in ceremony in February 2024 Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev described the OTS as the main global organisation for Azerbaijan and introduced that Baku’s potential foreign policy objective would be focused on generating the OTS 1 of the key worldwide organisations in the globe. Engagement with the Central Asian Turkic states is strategically considerable in Azerbaijan’s international coverage. To start with and foremost, the ongoing geopolitical turmoil in the neighbourhood leaves Azerbaijan as a important link on a geographical route for Central Asian states bypassing both equally Russia and China in their engagement with the exterior globe. The issue of economic diversification, specially in the variety of the diversification of electricity routes, makes Azerbaijan a strategic route for Kazakhstan to export its oil to Western and environment markets devoid of utilizing the existing conventional route by way of Russia. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan’s condition oil firms, KazMunayGas and SOCAR, signed an arrangement in March 2024 on a gradual maximize in the transit of Kazakh oil by way of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan expressed willingness to improve receipt of Kazakh oil to 2.two million tonnes per year. The usage of Azerbaijani energy pipelines, in distinct the Baku-Supsa and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipelines, has become a strategic requirement for Kazakhstan to export its oil to planet marketplaces. Oil shipment via Azerbaijan will progressively develop to sixteen.five million barrels a 12 months, double the 2023 figure. Azerbaijan’s modern participation in Central Asian summits as well as the joint summits and conferences of Central Asian states and the Gulf nations GCC is also a new development in its international coverage and highlights the strategic value of Baku for Turkic states. The regions of cooperation are big and protect strategically significant topics these kinds of as logistics, trade, energy routes, and economic and safety aspects. Taking into consideration that the US, Germany and Uk have swiftly amplified their engagement with the Central Asian Turkic states considering the fact that the Russia-Ukraine war, and that the US and Germany have institutionalised their engagements in the structure of 5+1, Azerbaijan’s strategic purpose for these nations around the world is also expanding.

With the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty President Ilham Aliyev created integration with the Turkic states a national precedence. Amidst the Russia-Ukraine war and geopolitical confrontation among the West and Russia, and US and China Azerbaijan seeks to stay out of this world-wide battle and minimize its unfavorable impacts in a area in which safety is by now currently being impacted. The OTS has historically concentrated on society, transportation and logistics. President Ilham Aliyev proposed growing OTS cooperation to include armed service, defence and defence field matters, which reflects a proactive method in Azerbaijan’s overseas plan in the midst of the growing global and regional security issues. Colonel Abundant Outzen (Ret) identifies five regional protection dynamics that accelerate army defence integration and cooperation concerning the Turkic states. They are the economic and technological growth in the Turkish defence sector which has enabled Turkey to become one particular of the main nations in the output and export of UAVs, with drones as the model defining solution Turkish armed forces ability with a specialist military that can offer instruction, training, doctrine and armed forces tools to the countries that are seeking to diversify from Russia’s classic part in these areas. In addition, Russia’s intense foreign plan in its neighbourhood, which can be observed in its aid for Armenian irredentism against Azerbaijan, its war in Georgia in 2008 and ongoing war against Ukraine, the generational adjust in Turkic states because 1991, the USA’s withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, and disagreements amid the CSTO states this sort of as border disputes and Russia-Ukraine war are all things shaping the look at that no external electric power or military services alliance can be a trustworthy security guarantor and that the Turkic states will have to step up joint safety endeavours to face security difficulties.

In accordance to Cavid Veliyev, subsequent the liberation of Azerbaijani land from Armenian occupation, Azerbaijan has turn into a concentrate on state for Western organisations predominantly driven by an orientalist and selective strategy to the basic principle of territorial integrity and sovereignty of states. As a result, Western institutions have misplaced reliability in the eyes of Azerbaijani culture. The OTS, even so, has emerged as a important ally of Azerbaijan. Its aid for the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and sovereignty in excess of the occupied lands has not long gone unnoticed by the Azerbaijani community.

President Aliyev’s proposal to bolster defence and navy cooperation amid the member states builds on the Astana Declaration, authorized by the heads of point out at the 10th Summit of the Organization of Turkic States on three November 2023, which commits to joint efforts in preventing terrorism, drug trafficking, separatism etc. The Turkic states facial area quite a few of the identical security threats – Russia as an aggressive and unpredictable neighbour, the rise of assertiveness in China’s foreign coverage, the Taliban’s return to electricity in Afghanistan, US tries to venture its confrontation with China on to geo-economic assignments these kinds of as the Belt and Road in the area, terrorism, especially the increase of fundamentalism in neighbouring Tajikistan, and separatism. The nations share their vision of signing up for attempts to encounter these safety threats. Turkic states are represented in two different security organisations, with Turkey currently being a NATO member, and Kazakhstan and the Kyrgyz Republic getting members of the Russia-led CSTO. Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are not customers of either armed service bloc. Although Azerbaijan is a neutral country as a NAM member, it has strong relations with NATO and participates in NATO packages. It took part in the peacekeeping contingent in NATO missions in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. Baku also has near security ties with CSTO members this kind of as Kazakhstan. In addition, Azerbaijan has a armed service alliance with Turkey, increased by the 2021 Shusha Declaration on Allied Relations in between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Turkey. The declaration highlights mutual security commitments these kinds of as strengthening the defence functionality and military services stability, conducting joint Turkish-Azerbaijani armed service exercises and schooling, escalating the interaction and interoperability of the armed forces, joint weapons production on the foundation of modern-day technological innovation, keeping joint conferences of the stability councils on countrywide protection challenges on a common foundation etc. If the territorial integrity and sovereignty of both state is violated, the functions will keep joint consultations and coordinate their political, diplomatic and far more importantly military endeavours to remove the menace or acts of aggression. With the current modify in the geopolitical landscape in the South Caucasus location, the Shusha Declaration is the embodiment of the emerging Azerbaijani-Turkish tandem as the decisive armed forces-financial component shaping regional developments and security architecture.

The Organisation of Turkic States addresses a wide geostrategic geography with sizeable purely natural and human resources. It has close to 170 million inhabitants with the possible for this range to improve to 250 million by 2050, and the probable to generate GDP worth two trillion USD.  The significance of the Turkic states has increased subsequent Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as Europe’s trade routes with China passing via Russian territory turn into insecure geopolitically.

Beforehand recognised as the Turkic Council, the alliance was started in 2009 in Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan area. Since then it has grown into a entirely fledged worldwide organisation, with quite a few establishments – the General Secretariat in Istanbul, the Turkic Academy in Astana, the Turkic Cultural Basis in Baku, as nicely as several other entities such as an OTS consultant office environment in Budapest. Its concrete initiatives consist of the establishment of an investment decision fund, integration and relieve of customs procedures, and the advertising of the Center Corridor in between Europe and China by way of the South Caucasus and Central Asia, also regarded as the Trans Caspian trade route. Raising investments to make sure intra-regional connectivity with perfectly designed infrastructure assignments amid the member states are 1 of its aims.

[Photoby[PhotobyPresident.az, CC BY four., through Wikimedia Commons]

Rufat Ahmadzada is a graduate of Metropolis, University of London. His exploration region covers the South Caucasus and Iran. The sights expressed in this report are those people of the author and do not necessarily reflect TGP’s editorial stance.

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