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President Ilham Aliyev propels Azerbaijan to key in regional economy - Italian analyst

Politics Materials 17 January 2024 16:07 (UTC +04:00)
President Ilham Aliyev propels Azerbaijan to key in regional economy - Italian analyst
Ali Gasimov
Ali Gasimov
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BAKU, Azerbaijan, January 17. President Ilham Aliyev has made Azerbaijan a key regional economic player, Valentina Chabert, the representative of the Sapienza University of Rome, a geopolitical analyst told Trend.

"Over the previous two decades, President Ilham Aliyev has been able to dramatically improve his country's economic situation, making Azerbaijan a vital regional economic actor as well as a reliable oil and gas provider not only for the European Union," she said.

According to her, this is especially evident since the outbreak of the war in Ukraine, as in 2022, Azerbaijan, led by Ilham Aliyev, signed an agreement with the European Commission for gas supply, confirming its critical role in European efforts to reduce energy dependency on sanctioned Russia as well as in the European energy transition.

"Concurrently, Azerbaijan can contribute to the energy security of various countries in Eastern Europe, particularly in the Balkans, with which relations have greatly improved over the previous decade," Valentina Chabert said.

Speaking about regional connectivity, a geopolitical analyst noted that the presidency of Ilham Aliyev was a period of improved and ongoing renovation from the point of view of infrastructure.

"Not only can we mention the Middle Corridor, but also the development of railroad infrastructure connecting with Georgia, the Alat Free Economic Zone, and the Alat port, all of which demonstrate Azerbaijan's ability to attract investment and serve as a bridge between Europe and Asia. Similarly, during Ilham Aliyev's presidency, a crucial agreement was made with Russia, Iran, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, bringing an end to a dispute that had been ongoing since the Soviet Union's demise in 1991. At first glance, this could appear as a minor event, but it represents instead a great achievement that will produce its results in the years to come and that will allow Azerbaijan to fully exercise the sovereign right to exploit natural resources in the Caspian Sea in accordance with the other mentioned riparian states," Valentina Chabert noted.

A geopolitical analyst pointed out that, last but not least, the full restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity in Azerbaijan can be considered the greatest success of Ilham Aliyev’s presidency.

"Though it went through a war, anti-terrorist measures, and several low-intensity small-scale clashes, President Aliyev was able to forge regional and international relations to support the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and the respect of United Nations resolutions affirming that the economic region of Karabakh belongs to Azerbaijan. In any case, alongside achievements, there are considerable changes ahead. This and the next few years will indeed be crucial for the signature of a peace treaty with Armenia, which will bring back peace to the South Caucasus after almost thirty years. Similarly, the reconstruction of Karabakh will require joint efforts and significant investments, as well as the development of attractive national policies that stimulate the “Great Return” of Azerbaijani citizens who were forced to leave the area because of Armenian occupation," she added.

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