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headlines from the caspian: february 20, 2024

Headlines from the Caspian: February 20, 2024

Author: Caspian Policy Center

Feb 20, 2024

Image source: astanatimes.com

Energy and Economy

LOT Airlines to Begin Flights from Uzbekistan to Poland

On February 20, the Uzbekistan news outlet, Gazeta.uz, reported that the Polish airline LOT will begin direct flights from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, to Warsaw, Poland. The first of these flights is scheduled for March 14, and thereafter will run three times a week. Uzbek authorities hope these flights will help a burgeoning tourism industry in Uzbekistan, while Uzbeks seeking work in Europe might take advantage of these new flights.

Source: gazeta.uz

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to Construct Industrial Cooperation Center this Summer

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan agreed on February 16 to start the construction of an Industrial Cooperation Center along the Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan border this summer. The center will be located on the border where the Turkistan region in Kazakhstan meets the Syrdarya region in Uzbekistan. This facility will help develop trade and economic relations between the countries, intensify business ties between manufacturers and entrepreneurs, and accelerate the growth of trade turnover between the two countries.

Source: Astana Times

U.S.-based Wabtec Acquires Full Ownership of a Kazakh Locomotive Assembly Plant

On February 18, U.S.- based manufacturer Westinghouse Air Brake Technologies Corporation (Wabtec) acquired full ownership of a locomotive assembly plant in Kazakhstan for $81 million. Wabtec previously owned a 50 percent stake in the plant. 

Source: Astana Times

Security and Politics

U.S.-Azerbaijan Diplomatic Engagement in Munich

On the sidelines of the 60th Munich Security Conference, high-level officials from Azerbaijan met with officials from the United States. President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met with the United States Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry, and U.S. Special Presidential Coordinator for Global Infrastructure and Energy Security Amos Hochstein. Also, on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference, on February 16, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov met with US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs James O'Brien

Source: President.Az

Blinken Meets with Aliyev and Pashinyan

On February 17, U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken met separately with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference. The meeting with President Aliyev focused on human rights, a durable peace agreement with Armenia, and the upcoming COP29 climate conference in Baku, according to a statement released by the Secretary’s office. Secretary Blinken reported that his conversation with Prime Minister Pashinyan centered around a peace agreement with Azerbaijan and democracy within the country. 

Source: U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of State

Zelensky Meets with Aliyev

On the sidelines of the 60th Munich Security Conference, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky and President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met to discuss bilateral relations. Aliyev expressed Azerbaijan’s support for the integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine, and he wished peace to the people of Ukraine. Zelensky thanked Azerbaijan for its assistance to Ukraine’s energy systems and war reconstruction projects. 

Source: First Channel News

Following Sit-Down Between Aliyev and Pashinyan, Foreign Ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia to Meet

Following their meeting with Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz at the Munich Security Conference, the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan both announced that their respective countries' foreign ministers would meet “soon” to continue border delineation talks. The news of progress on peacemaking between Azerbaijan and Armenia came after a week of violence on the border between the two countries, resulting in the wounding of one Azerbaijani service member and the death of four Armenian soldiers.

Source: RFE/RL

Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan to Sign an Agreement on Military Intelligence

According to Azerbaijani and Kazakhstani media reports, the two countries are expected to sign an agreement on cooperation in the field of military intelligence. A draft agreement of normative legal acts has been published on Kazakhstan’s government internet portal.

Source: Apa.az

Pashinyan Says Armenia is not an Ally of Russia Regarding Ukraine

Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated that Armenia is not an ally of Russia when it comes to the war in Ukraine. He noted that Armenia adheres to the Alma-Ata Declaration, which recognizes the independence and territorial integrity of the republics that became independent after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Source: Ukrainska Pravda

Aliyev Embarks on First Visit to Türkiye Following Reelection

On February 18, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev embarked on a two-day trip to Türkiye. During the visit, Aliyev held meetings with his Turkish counterpart, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss enhancing bilateral relations and furthering cooperation between the two countries. The two leaders signed several agreements in the tax, veterinary, and higher-education sectors. 

Source: TRT World

Sources: APA.az, Astana Times, First Channel News, Gazeta.uz, President.az, RFE/RL, TRT World, Ukrainska Pravda, U.S. Department of State

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