Lapis Lazuli: A New Transit Corridor to Link Asia and Europe via the South Caucasus

Meeting of delegates from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan Georgia and Turkey at the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan (Source: Embassy of Turkey in Ashgabat)
Meeting of delegates from Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan Georgia and Turkey at the Regional Economic Cooperation Conference for Afghanistan (Source: Embassy of Turkey in Ashgabat)
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 155

Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey signed a new agreement dedicated to launching the Lapis Lazuli transit corridor during a pentalateral meeting at the seventh Regional Economic Cooperation Conference on Afghanistan (RECCA), held on November 15, in Ashgabat (Azernews, November 15). The finalized document was the product of three years of negotiations among the five governments. The trans-regional corridor will encompass mainly railways and highways, which will connect Herat province (Afghanistan) and Turkmenbashi port (Turkmenistan) via Ashgabat. From Turkmenbashi, goods will be able to travel further by ferry to Baku, where they would be placed on train cars and continue westward to Europe across the South Caucasus via the newly launched Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railroad (see EDM, October 16, November 17). Oxumağa davam et Lapis Lazuli: A New Transit Corridor to Link Asia and Europe via the South Caucasus

Emrah Safa Gürkan – Sultanın Casusları

Türkiyəli tarixçi professor, Emrah Safa Gürkanın qələmə aldığı “Sultanın Casusları” kitabı tarixi araşdırma janrında qələmə alınmışdır. Kitab XVI əsrdə Osmanlı İmperiyası ilə Habsburqlar İmperiyasının Avropada və Şimali Afrikada, habelə Aralıq Dənizində yaşadığı qarşıdurmalardan, məşhur dəniz döyüşlərindən və Osmanlı himayəsi altında bu bölgədə dəhşət saçan dəniz quldurlarından – Xeyrəddin Barbaros, Turqut Rəis, Ulu Ali, Həsən Rəis və b. bəhs edir.

Kitabın adından da göründüyü kimi əsər dövrün böyük imperiyaları və onların müxtəlif qitələrdə yaradılan casusluq şəbəkələrinin tarixini oxucuya çatdırır. Oxumağa davam et Emrah Safa Gürkan – Sultanın Casusları

Will the Baku–Tbilisi–Kars Railway Become Uzbekistan’s New Connection to Europe?

Photo Credit: Sputnik Azerbaijan
Photo Credit: Sputnik Azerbaijan
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 130

On September 27, the head of Azerbaijani Railways Company, Javid Gurbanov, along with his Georgian and Turkish counterparts, Mamuka Bakhtadze and Ahmad Arslan, respectively, attended the first test run by a passenger train along a section of the Baku–Tbilisi–Kars (BTK) railway, from the Georgian capital to Akhalkalaki (in the country’s southwest). After the test train reached the final destination, Gurbanov declared that the BTK railroad is likely ready to begin regular operation (AzVision, September 27). Hence, the minister of foreign affairs of Azerbaijan, Elmar Mammadyarov, during a joint press conference with Georgian Foreign Minister Mikheil Janelidze, in Tbilisi, stated that the official opening ceremony of the BTK will be held on October 30 of this year (Apsny.ge, October 10).

The 826-kilometer-long Baku–Tbilisi–Kars railway connects Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia (and by extension forms an important link in the trans-continental transport corridor connecting Central Asia and China to Europe). The BTK railroad is being constructed on the basis of a 2007 Georgian-Azerbaijani-Turkish intergovernmental agreement. In its initial stage, the railway will carry 1 million passengers and 6.5 million tons of cargo per year. However, by 2023, its peak capacity will grow to 17 million tons of cargo annually (The Asian, October 18, 2016). Beginning in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, trains traveling along the BTK will stop in Tbilisi, pass through gauge-changing facilities in Akhalkalaki, and terminate in northeastern Turkey. Oxumağa davam et Will the Baku–Tbilisi–Kars Railway Become Uzbekistan’s New Connection to Europe?

Robert D. Kaplan – Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos

Tanınmış amerikalı tədqiqatçı, politoloq və tarixçi Professor Robert Kaplanın ən çox oxunan kitablarından biri olan bu kitab mahiyyət etibarilə qloballaşan müasir dünyadakı trendlərin, antik və orta əsr dünyaları ilə müqayisəsinə həsr edilmişdir.

Əsasən antik çağlarda formalaşan hərbi koalisiyalar, qədim Yunan şəhər dövlətlərində demokratik idarəçilik sisteminin, seçki sisteminin, Yunan – İran müharibələrindən sonra ortaya çıxan “güc balansı” anlayışının, daha sonra isə yeni dövr Avropasında getdikcə vüsət alan “idealizm”, “siyasi praqmatizm” və s. kimi siyasi-fəlsəfi cərəyanların populyarlaşmasından bəhs edən bu kitab, bilinən tarixi hadisələrə fərqli yanaşmaları özündə ehtiva edir.  Oxumağa davam et Robert D. Kaplan – Warrior Politics: Why Leadership Demands a Pagan Ethos

The South-West Transport Corridor Project and the Geopolitical Reshaping of the South Caucasus

South-West Transport Corridor (Source: financialtribune.com)
South-West Transport Corridor (Source: Financial Tribune)
Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 14 Issue: 93

Baku hosted the first joint gathering of the heads of the railway administrations of Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine and Poland, on June 19. The meeting was dedicated to the newly-launched “South-West Transport Corridor,” which links into the broader Trans-Caspian International Route project launched in 2016. The event concluded with the signing of a new joint protocol that envisages expanding cooperation opportunities along the so-called “South-West” route (Iran–Azerbaijan–Georgia–by ferry across the Black Sea–Ukraine–Poland) in order to optimize cargo transportation and increase transit capacity. Reportedly, the next joint meeting of the working group will be held in Odesa in September 2017 (Trend, June 19).

The coordination work of the project was assigned to Azerbaijan Railways CJSC. “The Coordination Council on the South-West route will be located in Baku—this is another advantage for us. The working group for the project will operate in Iran. We will try to negotiate, unite joint efforts, so that this transport corridor will earn and bring profit, in particular to Azerbaijan,” said Javid Gurbanov, the chairman of Azerbaijani Railways (CBC, June 20). Oxumağa davam et The South-West Transport Corridor Project and the Geopolitical Reshaping of the South Caucasus

China – Pakistan Economic Corridor: An Opportunity for Central Asia?

Chinese foreign ministry has said that its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is in accordance with NSG. (Source: AP)
Chinese foreign ministry has said that its nuclear cooperation with Pakistan is in accordance with NSG. (Source: AP)

Published by Central Asia – Caucasus Institute Analyst

In May 2017, China hosted an international summit in Beijing gathering 28 heads of state from four continents and representatives of various international organizations. The summit was devoted to the Belt and Road Initiative, referring to overland and maritime routes across the Eurasian landmass. One of the most significant moments of the summit was the meeting between China’s and Pakistan’s leaders and the signing of a new agreement (MoU), adding to the US$ 46 billion already pledged for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a network of rail, road and energy infrastructure. During the event, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif met with the leaders of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan, requesting their investment in CPEC.

BACKGROUND: CPEC is the flagship project under the Belt and Road Initiative and has been seen as a “game changer” in the regional geopolitical discourse since it was formally unveiled in April 2015. It has become the foremost bilateral initiative between China and Pakistan and has a budget of over US$ 46 billion. As part of this initiative, an opening ceremony was held on May 6, 2016 in the city of Sukkur in Pakistan’s Sindh Province, marking the beginning of construction of a section of highway between Sukkur and the city of Multan, which will be part of a network of highways connecting the cities of Peshawar and Karachi. Oxumağa davam et China – Pakistan Economic Corridor: An Opportunity for Central Asia?

The EU and the South Caucasus 25 years since Independence: Azerbaijan in the Geopolitical Strategy of the EU

Caucasus International Magazine. Photo credit: 1News.Az
Caucasus International Magazine. Photo credit: 1News.Az

Caucasus International Magazine; Vol: 7 No: 1; Summer issue

PDF version is available for download

Abstract. This paper examines the European Union’s geopolitical interests in the South Caucasus, with a specific focus on Azerbaijan. The EU has maintained a relationship with the region for over two decades, but often the EU’s approach towards the South Caucasus have been deeply affected by local and regional developments. Nevertheless, EU – Azerbaijan bilateral relations may offer an alternative. Azerbaijan plays a key role in European energy security, while the EU is seeking to create a “European space” in the South Caucasus. These two interrelated developments are mutually reinforcing. This paper examines how this relationship shapes and/or is influenced by the EU’s geopolitical strategic vision in the region.

Introduction

The South Caucasus is an extraordinarily complex region in many ways. Having re-gained independence in 1991, the South Caucasus remains one of the world’s most security-challenged regions, facing a host of internal and external security threats. Despite its small size and relatively small population, the South Caucasus occupies an important place in international geopolitics. Oxumağa davam et The EU and the South Caucasus 25 years since Independence: Azerbaijan in the Geopolitical Strategy of the EU

Stupidity is not a Handicap