Azerbaijan-British geopolitical and geo-economics partnership - ANALYTICS
- 10 February 2021
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received Minister for European Neighbourhood and the Americas at the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office Wendy Morton. Welcoming the British guest, President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan and Britain have very good political contacts and a very active political dialogue. “Energy cooperation is very important part of our partnership and we are very happy to complete the major project- the Southern Gas Corridor. You know, BP is our strategic partner, the company which participated from the very beginning in the major projects in Azerbaijan as an investor” - the President said.
Emphasizing the high level of political and economic cooperation between the two countries, the President touched upon the prospects of relations in the non-oil sector and other areas.
The head of state also noted that British companies are interested in participating in future projects in the liberated lands – “In the liberated territories we have great potential for reconstruction and we already started our contacts with British companies. One of them is involved in the city-planning in the development of infrastructure on the liberated territories. And I hope there will be more because a lot of things are to be done there. Everything destroyed. There is big potential in renewable energy. And I know that there is interest from British companies to work on these issues. There is a very big potential for solar, wind, hydro. So we are already planning our future in the liberated territories, and I already declared these territories as green zone territory. So, we will use the power of wind, sun, and water in order to supply the needs of the people. We already became an exporter of electric energy. Therefore, the potential for that is really very high. And also, many other areas of cooperation between our countries have great importance”.
In turn, the British Secretary of State Wendy Morton expressed confidence that cooperation between his country and Azerbaijan will further expand in the future, noting that in the post-conflict period, London will be interested in new projects in our country.
It is worth mentioning that Wendy Merton is the first British person to visit Azerbaijan as the Minister of State for the European Neighborhood of the United Kingdom. Azerbaijani-British relations cover a number of important areas in our modern foreign policy. Today, the relations between the two sides are a clear example of friendship and partnership. Although the relations between the parties are more than 100 years old, in recent years the relations between Baku and London have entered the stage of the geoeconomic and geopolitical partnership. Cooperation, which began in the early years of independence, has gradually led to further expansion of relations between the two sides. The policy pursued by national leader Heydar Aliyev in the development of relations between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom should be specially noted. Heydar Aliyev's close contacts with Britain after coming to power, and his visit to Britain in 1994, opened a new page in relations between the two countries. During the visit, Azerbaijan and Britain signed a "Joint Declaration on Friendship and Cooperation". As a result, on September 20, 1994, SOCAR and foreign oil companies signed the "Contract of the Century" in Baku, where the British company has the largest share.
Considering that the role of transnational companies in modern international processes is a very important factor for the countries they represent, today we can say with confidence that BP's presence in Azerbaijan over the years has also contributed to the strengthening of ties between London and Baku. The United Kingdom, which has invested about $ 30 billion in our country, is the largest investor in Azerbaijan. About 600 British companies operating in various fields have registered in Azerbaijan.
Today, the development of economic relations between the two countries are the result of the effectiveness of political dialogue between the parties and common geopolitical challenges. The fact that this state has taken a principled position on Armenia's military aggression against Azerbaijan over the past 30 years is also a very important factor in bilateral relations. Back in 1993, at the direct initiative of the United Kingdom, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 853, which demanded the unconditional withdrawal of the Armenian occupying forces from the occupied territories of Azerbaijan during their chairmanship. In the years since then, Azerbaijan has conducted an active, intensive political dialogue with the United Kingdom to build a new, higher level of political and diplomatic relations, which we witnessed during the 44-day war. Shortly after the start of the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia on September 27, some countries in the UN Security Council wanted to achieve the adoption of a statement reflecting the bias on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. At that time, the proposal was not accepted due to the principled position of Barbara Woodward, the British Permanent Representative to the UN Security Council.
Of course, all these positive moments were possible as a result of Azerbaijan's foreign policy aimed at rational and strategic goals. Over the years, President Ilham Aliyev has pursued a policy aimed at consistent strategic goals for the development of relations between Baku and London.
Thus, over the past 30 years, Baku and London have managed to build a partnership based on common and mutual interests. Recent events and statements show that Azerbaijan and the United Kingdom are determined to further expand the important cooperation and partnership between the two countries.
senior lecturer at the Academy of Public Administration under the President, chairman of the Baku Political Scientists Club