Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 10
During ten days of October, representatives of Expert Council of the Baku International Policy and Security Network (Baku Network) held meetings in Washington, Philadelphia and New York in leading US think tanks and research institutes, Elkhan Alasgarov, PhD, head of the Expert Council of the Baku Network, told Trend Nov. 10.
The Heritage Foundation, the Jamestown Foundation, the Brookings Institution, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, etc. are among them, he said.
Agreements were reached on the possibility of holding joint events in the future, in particular on the organization of discussions between experts of the two countries at the Baku Network platform, information exchange and rendering of all kinds of assistance to the activity of the Baku Network on international arena, he added.
Earlier, Baku Network had already established partnership relations with such authoritative organizations as the Valdai Discussion Club, the Baltic Development Forum, and others, he noted, adding that meetings and cooperation with colleagues from Europe are planned in the near future.
Regarding the meetings with the US think tanks and research institutes, Alasgarov noted that these institutions have serious impact on the formation of foreign policy of the US. Fruitful discussions were held in such organizations as the Caspian Policy Center, the Bipartisan Policy Center, as well as with representatives of the UN secretariat, he said.
During the meetings, the participants received objective information in detail on the political and socio-economic achievements of Azerbaijan under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, Azerbaijan’s fair position in the issue of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Alasgarov noted.
He said that the completion of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project and the opening ceremony of the BTK railway, which was attended by high-ranking officials of Georgia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan along with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, was a notable factor during the delegation’s stay in the US.
“This once again allowed us to emphasize the importance of Azerbaijan in the region, and this importance was unequivocally supported by representatives of the US think tanks,” Alasgarov said. “They stressed the important geopolitical location of Azerbaijan and the country’s role in the region.”
Alasgarov added that this trip was very successful and fruitful, and, in particular, allowed to bring the Baku Network to a new level of recognition in the sphere of leading think tanks, which is another international success of the Baku Network and another demonstration of the high level of development of democracy and civil society in Azerbaijan.
In this context, a meeting with James McGann, director of the Think Tanks and Civil Societies Program (TTCSP) of the Lauder Institute at the University of Pennsylvania, who is the author of the most authoritative global ranking of think tank institutions, is also a great success, Alasgarov said.
The sides held talks to include the Baku Network in this ranking and discussed issues of participation in events around the world, where the most pressing international problems are discussed, he noted.
He said that the meetings in the US were organized with the assistance of the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, the US Department of State and the Meridian International Center.
Such a program of the think tank’s cooperation with the US partners, put forward by the US Embassy in Azerbaijan, was implemented for the first time, he noted. This creates additional opportunities for making the US and world community aware of Azerbaijan’s position, objective coverage of events related to the country and the region, he added.