Organization of Turkic States: a showcase of cross-regional cooperation for mutual gain

Politics Materials 3 November 2023 07:30 (UTC +04:00)
Organization of Turkic States: a showcase of cross-regional cooperation for mutual gain
Maryana Ahmadova
Maryana Ahmadova
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, November 3. As a founding member of the Organization of Turkic States, Azerbaijan has played a pivotal role in fostering unity among Turkic nations and elevating diplomatic ties among these states to their current elevated status. Amid the backdrop of global crises and uncertainties, Azerbaijan, in alignment with its counterparts from the OTS, recognizes the paramount importance of fortifying connections within the Turkic world as a primary mission.

The OTS has evolved into a unifying force that brings together Turkic states under the banner of their shared Turkic heritage. Initially perceived primarily as a cultural forum, it has become evident over time that the OTS offers much more than that.

The reinforcement of the Turkic influence in the region coincides with endeavors to explore fresh perspectives and motivations for progress through various institutional and organizational frameworks. The OTS has already made significant strides in this regard, and its future potential for growth is substantial.

Today, the 10th Summit of the Heads of State of the OTS is set to take place in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan. Themed "Turk Time", this summit will serve as a significant platform for addressing the organization's wide-ranging agenda. Leaders are expected to make pivotal decisions, enter into agreements, and formalize documents related to OTS initiatives in domains like the economy, trade, transportation, and customs. Furthermore, the summit will provide a platform for discussing regional and global political and economic trends.

Following the summit program, which also marks the transition of leadership from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, the heads of state will affix their signatures to the Astana Act, the Astana Summit Declaration, and a series of resolutions.

As President Ilham Aliyev once said, Azerbaijan has always been one of the important members of the OTS.

“We see that there's a big need in all the member countries of the organization to consolidate the efforts because if we do it, if we transform this organization even more into serious international player, I think, everyone will benefit. Because, look, we have big geography. We have in some countries big natural resources, including energy resources, have a strong military capability in some of the countries and if we unite all these efforts, of course, we will see a serious player on a global scale. It can be and I think it should be one of the centers of global powers,” President Ilham Aliyev noted.

And, indeed, while the OTS is gaining importance, there remains substantial potential for further enhancements.

Azerbaijan's role now assumes paramount significance, not just for OTS members but for the broader region, as it plays a pivotal role in sustaining comprehensive economic development. Essential transportation routes, crucial for Central Asian members of the organization to reach the European market, particularly the highly advanced ones, traverse Azerbaijan directly.

Access to the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route, or the so-called Middle Corridor, necessitates passage through Türkiye as well. This route acts as a gateway to unlock global trade opportunities. Establishing a strong relationship with the OTS could provide substantial transit benefits to the EU as a whole, as well as to its individual member states, creating a positive impact on all involved economies.

In essence, the EU has much to gain from collaborating with the OTS. The Turkic states presently offer credible solutions to address pressing issues at the core of the EU's objectives. Establishing strong ties with the OTS holds the potential to significantly bolster the EU's standing within Turkic nations.

The evolution of the OTS represents an intriguing development for its members and other political players. The growing prominence of the organization will attract attention, establishing it as a regional bridge for dialogue between East and West.

The future trajectory of cooperation between the EU and the OTS is of particular interest, given the invaluable benefits it offers. This collaboration holds the potential to deliver tangible and intangible advantages to the EU.

Hungary, a key player in Europe, simultaneously plays a significant role within the Organization of Turkic States, holding observer status in the OTS. Budapest has demonstrated a clear commitment to deepening relations with the Turkic world.

Common priorities form a robust foundation for nurturing enduring and sustainable cooperation in strategic spheres. As a result, Azerbaijan and other OTS members, each wielding considerable leadership within their respective regions, carry the potential and responsibility to propel interregional cooperation forward.