On April 7, 2023, the second meeting of the Kazakhstan-Azerbaijan expert council, organized by the Kazakhstan institute for strategic studies under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan (KazISS) and the Center of analysis of international relations of Azerbaijan Republic (AIR Center) was held.
The event was held on the eve of the visit of the President of Azerbaijan Republic I. Aliyev to Astana on April 10, 2023.
Director of KazISS Yerkin Tukumov, Chairman of AIR Center Farid Shafiyev, deputies and representatives of state bodies, as well as heads and experts of leading think tanks of the two states attended the meeting.
Welcoming the participants of the meeting, Yerkin Tukumov said: «The official visit of the President of Kazakhstan K. Tokayev to Baku in August 2022 has opened up a new milestone in Kazakh-Azerbaijani relations. As the Head of State noted, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan are close states, we are strategic partners and allies. »
Speaking about the importance of the Kazakh-Azerbaijani Expert Council, KazISS Director Yerkin Tukumov noted: «The fact that this is the second time we have met on this dialogue platform in less than a year testifies to the growth of mutual interest and the need to develop our relations in all directions. » Speaking separately about the great work of the ambassadors of the two countries in organizing official visits of the heads of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, the head of the Kazakhstan Institute said: «They are looking forward to the arrival of dear President Aliyev in Astana with great impatience and hope for an additional impetus in our relations. »
According to the head of the KazISS, «it is necessary to give a more systematic and regular format to the meetings of the expert council. There is a large request from government agencies for recommendations on the development of the transit potential of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, tourism, cultural cooperation and other areas of bilateral relations. And this expert analysis is required constantly, regardless of the meetings of the Presidents of our countries.»
In his regard, chairman of AIR Center Farid Shafiyev said: «We decided to hold our event on the eve of President Aliyev’s visit to Kazakhstan, in order to analyze relations between our states, identify what tasks we need to solve, and in general assess the overall dynamics of the development of cooperation. »
Having positively assessed the pace of development of Kazakh-Azerbaijani cooperation in 2022, the experts stressed the high activity of interdepartmental and expert contacts on energy, transport, in particular, mechanisms to simplify and accelerate transportation along trans-Caspian logistics routes.
«I would like to signify separately the rapidity of political reforms in Kazakhstan and the positive impetus, that they gave to the development of whole Central Asia, » – noted Farid Shafiyev.
The heads of the think tanks of the expert council participants expressed their common hope that the opening of direct flights between Astana and Baku will increase tourist flows and allow realizing the huge potential of tourism.
In this regard, the director of the Institute of Applied Ethnopolitical Studies Talgat Kaliyev noted «the need to develop tourist offers and routes. » In addition, he spoke about «the importance of investing in the logistics infrastructure of the Caspian Sea, » and also proposed to strengthen «cooperation in the field of education in the format of sharing the experience of advanced school institutions and conducting guest lectures by experts in higher education institutions. » Speaking about the dynamic development of relations between Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan, Mr. Aliyev stressed the importance of applying the recommendations developed by the expert council in practice.
Ambassador of Azerbaijan to Kazakhstan Agalar Atamoglanov, who took part in the meeting, called «the development of relations with Kazakhstan one of the priorities of the RA foreign policy,» noting the importance of the Declaration signed during the visit of President K. Tokayev to Baku in August 2022 on deepening strategic partnership and allied relations between our countries. He thanked his Kazakh colleagues for their contribution to the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the ex-president of independent Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev this year, Mr. Ambassador called Kazakh-Azerbaijani relations an important link of Turkic integration.
The participants of the meeting highly appreciated the growth potential of trade and economic indicators of bilateral relations, discussed topical issues of further development of cooperation between the countries, including in the field of cultural exchange, as well as the expansion of expert and analytical cooperation.