New page in Azerbaijani-Kyrgyz relations

By Viktoria Zhavoronkova

After a 20-year stagnation, relations between Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan are reaching a qualitatively new level. This fact was noted after the talks between the presidents of Azerbaijan and Kyrgyzstan in Baku.

A new page has truly opened in expansion of cooperation between the two countries close in culture, roots. This can be judged by the latest events in the development of relations between Baku and Bishkek, among which, probably, one of the most significant was the visit of President Atambayev to Azerbaijan.

A package of documents, implementation of which can benefit significantly the two countries in both economic and cultural spheres was signed. Now for the expansion of cooperation between the two countries favorable conditions emerged that are underpinned by economic aspects and convergence of the Turkic-speaking peoples.

Probably one of the most important points of contact between Baku and Bishkek today is energy which is one of the main sectors of the economy of Azerbaijan and which is quite problematic for Kyrgyzstan.

Production of petroleum products in the Central Asian republic after the collapse of the Soviet Union was practically suspended, and now Bishkek is forced to look for suppliers of a strategically important product among its regional neighbors. The main supplier of oil products to Kyrgyzstan is now Russia, but this natural monopoly creates multiple risks for Bishkek and puts it in a dependent position on the country supplier of petroleum products. Azerbaijan has long been considered by Kyrgyzstan as an alternative supplier of oil products, but their delivery was hampered by the high cost of transportation, and eventually - it economical inexpediency.

Conceptual solution to this problem could be an agreement on the construction of an oil refinery of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in the Central Asian republic. The talks held in Baku reaffirmed the intention of the two countries to cooperate closely in this direction.

If SOCAR oil refinery is built, Kyrgyzstan, buying products of this factory, which as projected by local experts, will be able to cover demand of the country in petroleum products and diversify energy supplies. In addition, the production of oil products in the territory of the republic is an important step in the development of the whole country as a whole.

Opening of a new plant will allow Azerbaijan to enter new markets for.

In addition to the economic prospects the two countries share many things - history, strengthening of the independence, cultural and religious community, Turkic roots. Speaking on the outcome of negotiations of the President of Kyrgyzstan in Azerbaijan, we should note their importance from the perspective of the unity of the Turkic peoples.

The two heads of states noted cooperation between countries of the Turkic world opens up broad prospects for the integration processes, economic and political mutual support, and cooperation within international organizations. The historical roots are often the basis for strong, partnership, mutually beneficial relations between states, which can be an important result of Atambayev's visit to Baku. Perhaps these talks will be another step towards creating a union of Turkic states, designed to unite their efforts in the way of active development and prosperity.

Enhancing relations between Kyrgyzstan and Azerbaijan after such a long break will be most likely long and productive in all directions and will serve the interests of both countries.
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