Monday July 15 2024

Shusha summit gains global role in tackling political, economic issues [COMMENTARY]

8 July 2024 19:33 (UTC+04:00)
Shusha summit gains global role in tackling political, economic issues [COMMENTARY]
Fatima Latifova
Fatima Latifova
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The informal summit held in Shusha on July 5-6, with the participation of the leaders of the Organisation of Turkic States, concluded with the adoption of an important document comprising crucial points. It is certain that this event will go down in the history of the entire Turkic world as a significant milestone. This is also the first ever international summit held in the liberated territories of Azerbaijan.

Also, the signing of the Garabagh Declaration is particularly noteworthy. There is no doubt that this summit will further strengthen the unity of the Turkic world.

The political analyst Amid Aliyev, commenting on the issue for Azernews, stated that holding this summit in Shusha was extremely important for various reasons.

"The informal summit of the OTS held in Shusha last week was notable for several reasons. The meeting had a predominantly political purpose. Given the global changes occurring in the world and the reformation of the region's geopolitical landscape, holding this meeting in the Caucasus, specifically in Shusha, was extremely significant.

At the summit, the message was conveyed that Shusha is not only the political centre of Azerbaijan but also of the entire Turkic world. In the next 10 years, Shusha will be capable of fully competing with the Davos and Munich conferences," he said.

The expert mentioned that in the future, the OTS could also ensure a military dimension in its activities.

"Important theses were voiced by Azerbaijan's leader, President Ilham Aliyev, at the Shusha meeting. Considering that the upcoming century will be the "Turkic Century," it was firmly stated that the OTS will play an essential role. For this purpose, key goals such as the development of transport and communication lines within the Turkic Council's geography, the exploitation of energy resources, especially alternative energy sources, and the creation of an economic union were identified. All of this suggests that in the near future, the Turkic Council will be fully operational in political, economic, and likely military aspects," the expert added.

The political analyst also recalled the Turkic Council's efforts on climate change. He noted that discussions on this topic within the council are necessary.

"In the context of global challenges and climate change, the unity of the Turkic Council is extremely important. Within this geography, the complete drying up of the Aral Sea, the decline in the Caspian Sea level, difficulties in accessing drinking water sources, and destruction caused by annual rainfall give ground for more active discussions on these processes within the council."

He drew attention to the upcoming COP29 event to be held in Azerbaijan.

"It is gratifying that this issue is being discussed within the framework of the Turkic Council before the COP29 event to be held in Azerbaijan in November. The Shusha summit, which occupies a middle ground between the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the COP29 events, played a key role in solving political, economic, and social problems in both the Eastern and Western hemispheres."

The expert commented on Shusha hosting the Turkic Council's meeting. He said that the declaration signed within the summit reflects the future of the Council.

"After the Second Garabagh War, Shusha, which played the role of a political centre for the second time, became significantly important in the formation of the OTS and its operation as a unified organisation. The Garabagh declaration signed at the end of the meeting can be considered a document that determines the strategic development path of the Turkic Council for the next decade," he noted.

The political analyst said that the principles of security and development of the countries in the region will be the main foundations of the future period.

"In the following period, the Turkic Council will face a new era in terms of quality and content. The main elements of this era will be free economic development, social stability, military security, and integration into the world community of the states and peoples located in this geography," the expert said.

Patrick Walsh, an Irish historian and political analyst, drew attention to Azerbaijan's relations with the Turkic world, especially with Turkiye.

“The relationship between Azerbaijan and Turkiye is very important. It was significant in the winning of the 2020 war and has a decisive geopolitical effect in the region. It means that the Western Powers and Russia have to take account of Turkiye when they are dealing with Azerbaijan. This is particularly important with regard to Moscow, which cannot attempt to intimidate Baku without endangering very important relations with Ankara, which have become all the more vital with the conflict in Ukraine.

The expert stated that Azerbaijan's strategic importance in terms of connecting the West and the East is unequivocal.

“Azerbaijan occupies a significant link in the developing Eurasian chain which will bring the East, and particularly China, closer to Europe. It is also a North-South nodal point between Russia and Iran. All this makes peace and stability in the region vital for the wider world and it is in everyone's interests that economic development takes place along associated corridors and transit routes.

The participation of Hungary in the informal summit of heads of state of OTS in Shusha, representing Europe, and the discussions regarding Hungary's becoming a member state of OTS in the future added special importance to the event. Patrick Walsh did not rule out highlighting Hungary's participation in the Shusha summit. He mentioned that it is gratifying that Brussels is interested in cooperating with Azerbaijan.

“Hungary is another independently minded country. Part of the EU but not willing to sacrifice its national interests to Brussels' whims. It is welcome that this most independently minded country joins with 2 other similar states - Turkiye and Azerbaijan - in the mutual interest of support and development,” he added.

However, it is significant to note that Hungary's participation in the summit was not unequivocally received by the European Union. A criticism addressed by Josep Borrell, the head of the EU's foreign policy administration, to Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban for participating in the Turkic Council summit revealed the European Union's jealous attitude towards Hungary making independent decisions among Turkic-speaking countries.

Patrick Walsh stated that Hungary has its own free will in this matter. He said that Hungary does not want to be a tool of the European Union.

“As I said, Hungary does no one's bidding. It will not tolerate policies that are detrimental to the Hungarian national interest. We have seen this in several instances where it obstructed some anti-Russian policies of the EU because they would have been particularly harmful to Hungary's relations with Russia and Belarus. Hungary refuses to be a passive tool of Western interests, and this annoys Brussels who are used to compliance to policies that are frankly dictatorial in nature, ordained by a small European elite who are going down a road that is harmful to the interests of ordinary Europeans,” the expert noted.


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