New Imputes in Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan relations

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M. Asif Noor

Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, as leaders of Caucuses and Central Asia, have a greater role to play in the dimension of regional cooperation and peace

President of Azerbaijan visited Uzbekistan in his latest regional high-level regional diplomacy and engagement pursuits. This was an important visit especially related to the rapidly changing regional and global political, strategic and economic dimensions. Both states signed a declaration on deepening the strategic partnership between the two especially related to building comprehensive cooperation in all fields.
During the visit, nearly 18 important documents were signed related to cooperation in industry, military and military-related technical cooperation, and quarantine and plant protection, fighting against the illegal migration, development of the international road transport.
The visionary leader of Uzbekistan also proposed to increase the volume of bilateral trade and opportunities for investment in diverse sectors in both countries. Both countries are establishing joint funds to finance the development projects which include machine building, textile, food, construction, wine-making, oil, gas petrochemicals and agro-based industries.
In fact, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan as leaders of Caucuses and Central Asia respectively have a greater role to play in the dimension of regional cooperation and peace. Both countries have significant geographical positions, making them important routes of connectivity.
Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan are playing an important role in making the diverse cooperation hence opening partnerships to other countries through transit trade, development of economy and communications networks.
Both Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have had deep-rooted diplomatic relations since 1995 when both states established their ties by opening embassies in each other’s capital. There are many diasporas living in each other’s countries. Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan consider each other important friends and partners in having close cooperation. Both states are members of important global, regional multilateral organisations. Both countries support each other from their regional and global standpoints. Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have strong bilateral ties with deep historic, religious, cultural, political, diplomatic, economic and strategic ties.
The recent visit has set new standards of cooperation where nearly 40 areas of cooperation have been expanded to bolster the interstate trade and economic ties including the strategic and defence ties. Industrial cooperation and effective use of the transport, transit and communications linkage may create opportunities for the region and beyond.
Here it is important to note that the states have created a joint fund where cooperation projects with the states will improve the efficiency through an effective transportation system. Baku-Tiblisi-Kars railway mechanism is another potential through which regional connectivity will increase. Through the cooperation on the road and other networks, there will be a greater chance for the overall building of regional connectivity.
This communications and connectivity potential will reach the goods and services from Caucuses, Central Asia, South Asia and beyond. Growing connectivity brings trade and opportunities for business. There are other communications and network corridors, projects and initiatives that are ongoing in the region. Through these diverse linkages, there is a greater chance for both countries to avail the opportunity of the transit trade and cargo transportation will increase multifold.
As a result of the growing regional and global tensions, there is a threat to energy and food security. This cooperation between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan will be an opportunity to transport goods from one side of Asia to another across the globe.
It is important to note that recently both states have their bilateral trade volume increased. According to the statistics, trade in 2021 was 111.9 USD million. There has been a rise in trade with a steady increase of nearly 16 per cent over the years. This also reflects the sense of trust amongst the people from both sides and there is huge potential and benefit for the other regional countries as well.
The visit has also made a fresh booster towards the cultural cooperation especially the visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Khiva and the naming of one of the streets in Uzbekistan after the name of the national leader Heydar Aliyev. This memorial and historic advancement will pave the way for enhancing the friendly historic ties, especially building on the shared history and culture of both states.
The visit also reflects that both states are trusted partners and committed to deepening their diplomatic relationship driven by common heritage, lineage, religion, language and culture. It raises the prospects of cooperation and provides them with a level playing field to strengthen their partnership in the region. It will be beneficial for thousands of overseas residents living in both states and contribute toward mutual development.
This recent visit of the President of Azerbaijan to Uzbekistan will inject a fresh impetus into the bilateral, regional, and multilateral cooperation not only between the countries but also will increase its benefits for the region and across the globe.