...

Protracted conflicts are sad shadows which cast doubt over the future of the region - Ambassador of Azerbaijan to U.S. (PHOTO)

Politics Materials 28 March 2012 03:28 (UTC +04:00)
The Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Unites States, Elin Suleymanov, delivered keynote remarks at a conference on “Prospects for Prosperity in the Caspian Basin: Energy, Reform, and 20 years of Diplomatic Relations with the U.S.”, Trend special correspondent reported.
Protracted conflicts are sad shadows which cast doubt over the future of the region - Ambassador of Azerbaijan to U.S. (PHOTO)

USA, Washington, Mar. 28 /Trend special corr. Natalie Zajicova/

The Ambassador of Azerbaijan to the Unites States, Elin Suleymanov, delivered keynote remarks at a conference on "Prospects for Prosperity in the Caspian Basin: Energy, Reform, and 20 years of Diplomatic Relations with the U.S.", Trend special correspondent reported.

The forum was held on March 27, 2012 at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, DC.

The Ambassador began by pointing out that "whatever happened in our region would have been impossible without the support and presence of the United States of America." He went on to say that Support coming from the Unites States didn't stop when the previous Administrations changed, and that the US has pursued a very clear policy in the region. This was not a Clinton or Bush policy, but as an American policy, Ambassador Suleymanov pointed out. He added that the people in the region need to know that there is a strong US interest and commitment to move forward in the Caspian region.

He went on to use the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline as an example, illustrating the success and sustained commitment of regional cooperation. The project laid a backbone to the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey corridor, which he described as "successful and most important voluntary and mutually beneficial cooperation based on understanding of common interests".
After the break-up of the Soviet Union, Baku was committed to attracting foreign investment by guaranteeing every profit sharing agreement by the law. Ambassador stressed Azerbaijan's domestic priorities and mentioned that the first spending by the state oil fund went to providing better housing for the internally displaced people from Karabakh and Armenian-occupied areas.

Ambassador Suleymanov reiterated Azerbaijan's commitment to supporting the US in fighting terrorism. Azerbaijani troops were deployed in Kosovo, and they were the only Muslim troop in Iraq on the side of the coalition. Azerbaijan is a Shi'a, pro-western, secular country and has the potential to be an example of a tolerant culturally Musim country and of successful post Soviet legacy.

In his address, the Ambassador touched upon the 20th Anniversary of the tragedy in Khojaly, as well as the protracted conflicts, the "sad shadows which cast doubt over the future of the region. They don't have to, they are unnecessary. They come from different visions and approaches." The issue also came up during the question and answer session as he referred to the OSCE Minsk Group "we need to have a clear understanding of what our objectives are [with regards to peace making with Armenia]."

In conclusion the Ambassador stressed the importance of the Caucasus region as a whole being an example for the future and avoiding the pitfalls of "retreating to ethnic and religious pigeonholes."

"Our region needs to be successful for us to be successful. Azerbaijan cannot and should not be the only successful country in the region. We are happy about Georgia's success. We want the success to expand to Eastern Caspian. We want Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to be successful as well. We want the region to prosper," said Ambassador Suleymanov.

The forum also included presentations and comments by the two co-chairs: Janusz Bugajski (CSIS), and Ariel Cohen (Heritage Foundation). Also participated Heather Conley (CSIS), Nargiz Gurbanova (Embassy of Azerbaijan), Glen Howard (Jamestown Foundation), Marlène Laruelle (George Washington University), Jeffrey Mankoff (CSIS), David Rakviashvili (Embassy of Georgia), Greg Saunders (BP), Rashmi Shankar (World Bank), Fred Starr (Central Asia-Caucasus Institute), Alex Vatanka (Middle East Institute), Ben Welch (World Bank), and Ambassador Ross Wilson (Atlantic Council).







Latest

Latest