“Ankara and Baku thwart threats, cooperate effectively in the region”

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Turkey and Azerbaijan have played an important role in countering threats and have cooperated in a wide range of areas thanks to their historical and brotherly ties, Baku’s envoy to Turkey Rashad Mammadov said on Saturday.

Speaking at the Ankara-based Strategic Thinking Institute (SDE), a think tank, Mammadov stressed that Turkey-Azerbaijan brotherhood is a model.

Mammadov recalled that even though Azerbaijan remained as part of the Soviet Union for 70 years, “we still haven’t lost our identity, customs, traditions, values ​​and relations.”

Expressing that his country’s relations with Turkey are more than just normal interstate relations, Mammadov mentioned the projects that Azerbaijan has carried out with Turkey, and gave as examples the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the project Baku-Tbilisi-Kars Railway.

Underlining the importance of Turkey in the realization of these projects, Mammadov indicated that these do not only serve the needs of Baku and Ankara but of everyone.

“There will be no Azerbaijan without Turkey, and Turkey will be weak without Azerbaijan,” he said.

Noting that Azerbaijan has invested $19.5 billion in Turkey’s energy sector alone, Mammadov said, “Who sees the benefits of the Turkish Defense Ministry’s defense industry? We see it. The Azerbaijani army was founded on the Turkish model.

Referring to the importance of the Organization of Turkish States, Mammadov said that this organization is “natural” and that the citizens of these states want this organization.

The two countries celebrated the 30th anniversary of the resumption of relations between Ankara and Baku on Friday. “Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the restoration of our diplomatic relations with friend and brother Azerbaijan,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said.

“After three decades, today there is a much stronger Turkey and a much stronger Azerbaijan, whose brotherhood and close cooperation are also the assurance of peace and stability in their common region,” he said. he added.

Relations reached new heights with the signing of the Shusha Declaration last year, which was ratified to enhance cooperation and promote stability in the region following the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

The Shusha Declaration emphasizes defense cooperation, promoting stability and prosperity in the region, and establishing new transportation routes.

The statement affirms the joint efforts of the two armies in the face of foreign threats. It also promises joint efforts for the restructuring and modernization of their armed forces.

It came after clashes erupted in September 2020 between the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Azerbaijan when the Armenian military launched attacks on Azerbaijani civilians and forces and violated several ceasefire agreements. humanitarian fire. Turkey has firmly supported Azerbaijan in its fight.

During the 44-day conflict, which ended with a truce on November 10, 2020, Azerbaijan liberated several towns and nearly 300 settlements and villages in Nagorno-Karabakh from an occupation lasting nearly three decades.

Caucasus Platform

The two countries also cooperate closely within the framework of the Organization of Turkic States as well as in the establishment of the Caucasus 3+3 Platform, which envisages deeper integration and cooperation in the region.

Ankara has frequently called for a six-nation platform comprising Turkey, Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia for permanent peace, stability and cooperation in the region, saying that this would be a win-win initiative for all regional players in the Caucasus.

Turkey believes that permanent peace is possible through mutual security-based cooperation between the states and peoples of the South Caucasus region.

Russia also welcomed Turkey’s efforts to ease tensions in the South Caucasus, mainly rooted in tensions between Baku and Yerevan.

Russia said on Friday that its initiatives with Turkey had helped to improve the situation in the South Caucasus and to solve the political problems prevailing in the region.

Moscow has always supported a 3+3 format proposal, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“We immediately saw a very good unifying potential in this initiative and immediately … we advocated for our Georgian neighbors to be involved in this process as well, based on the fact that the more opportunities for communication, the better. is to solve the remaining problems,” Lavrov said, speaking at an annual press conference assessing foreign policy developments of the past year.

Georgia did not take part in the first 3+3 meeting in Moscow and announced that they will not take part in the next round either, which is expected to be held in Turkey.

Stressing that this format would contribute to the development of the whole region, Lavrov said: “We support these efforts, we actively participate in them, they contribute to the normalization of the situation in the South Caucasus and help to create conditions for the problems remaining policies are resolved. much more actively and fruitfully thanks, among other things, to the economic cooperation between the three countries of the South Caucasus and their three big neighbors – Russia, Turkey and Iran.

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