The opening of the Fuzuli International Airport airport is a turning point in the role of Azerbaijan in the region, Irina Tsukerman, the US-based expert and analyst told Trend.
In her words, not only is it a symbolic undoing of the thirty years of occupation, but it's also a symbol of hope for the future of the entire region.
“With twenty percent of Azerbaijan's territory cut off from its population and taken over by invaders, it essentially rendered a large part of the region uninhabitable, disconnecting Azerbaijan from its neighbors,” Tsukerman said.
She noted that with creation of means of quick and accessible means of transportation in the strategically important part of the country, Baku faces a future where the IDPs and refugees can find a faster route back home once the territories are demined, restoring the economic and social identity of the area, and contributing positively to the economy of the country as a whole.
“Furthermore, having an airport facilitates other plans such as building "smart cities", attracting tourists and "digital nomads", reconnecting other cities in Azerbaijan to each other and to the liberated territories for the ease of transporting goods, services, and travel, and revitalizing the cultural identity in the area. Having been in that part of the country, it took hours, particularly in bad weather, to commute from Baku, and most of the day was spent in a car,” she said.
Tsukerman emphasized that shortened travel will maximize efficiency and create a potential powerhouse for investments and business activity, as well as reinvigorating the agricultural acumen of the liberated territories.
“New projects can be launched, foreign investors can explore opportunities, and create the type of innovative infrastructure that would take much longer to create in established cities. Essentially by starting from scratch but with an easy route to the developed part of the country, Azerbaijan is skipping over decades of incremental progress, to achieve instantaneous breakthrough in urban development marking some of the most modern cities in the world. That is a gift to investors looking for less expensive and more creative and interesting options for investment,” she said.
She noted that the airport will also facilitate the implementation of the trilateral peace agreement and the planned integration of the region by facilitating travel among Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia from this area, allowing easy access to anyone wishing to visit or work in these cities, and opening additional opportunities to cultural and economic exchanges and bypassing intermediary countries and pathways.