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Azerbaijan backs Uzbek government over Karakalpak unrest

9 July 2022 23:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan backs Uzbek government over Karakalpak unrest

Azerbaijan has fully backed Uzbekistan’s territorial integrity and underscored the legality of steps taken by the government against attempts to create instability in this Central Asian nation by causing riots in the Karakalpakstan Autonomous Republic.

Azerbaijan has supported the "brotherly state and the people of Uzbekistan" as surfaced from a telephone conversation the nation’s top diplomat had with acting Foreign Minister Vladimir Norov. The Azerbaijani foreign minister “emphasized that any steps against the sovereignty and territorial integrity of countries are unacceptable”.

The two ministers particularly emphasized the organization at a high level of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's state visit to Uzbekistan on June 22, 2022, and the results of the visit, as well as the signing of documents that they said, raised the strategic partnership between the two nations to a qualitatively new phase.

The two men also discussed progress in the implementation of the agreements reached during the visit, as well as the next steps to be taken to this effect.

In a similar vein, the Azerbaijani government has stepped up efforts to engage other Central Asian nations in energy cooperation, and Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov’s visit to Kazakhstan was of particular importance.

Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan held talks on renewing the transit of large volumes of oil from this Central Asian nation via the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, reports say.

The negotiations were led by Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov as part of a session of the Azerbaijani-Kazakh joint intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation. The talks came as a court in Russia's Novorossiysk had ruled that the Caspian Pipeline Consortium, the main route for exporting Kazakh oil to the Black Sea, should suspend its operation for 30 days due to the violation of environmental regulations.

Kazakhstan is planning to export 1.5m t of crude oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline in 2022 once Azerbaijan upgrades a small section linking an oil terminal on the Caspian coast and the main pipeline in the autumn. Kazakhstan may export up to 10m t of oil annually through terminals in Baku by 2023-2025 with the possibility of doubling the volume provided that additional investment has been made.

Similarly, Azerbaijan’s oil major SOCAR signed a roadmap on the expansion of cooperation with Uzbekistan's state oil and gas giant Uzbekneftegaz. The document covers the realization of joint oil and gas projects, oil and gas trading, cooperation in oil refinery and petro-chemistry as well as an exchange of experience.

Likewise, Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, Deputy Prime Minister Shahin Mustafayev discussed comprehensive cooperation in Baku with visiting Energy Minister of Iran Ali Akbar Mehrabian to expand economic relations. As the Iranian foreign minister said, the two neighbors are set to expand economic relations following recent tension in the relations.

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