Headlines from the Caspian: June 1, 2023
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Jun 1, 2023
Energy and Economy
Air Products to Open Production Facility in Uzbekistan
U.S.-owned Air Products, a chemical and industrial manufacturer, recently invested $1 billion into Uzbekistan and Uzbekneftegaz JSC (UNG) to own and operate a natural gas-to-syngas processing facility in Qashqadaryo Province, Uzbekistan. Under this agreement, Air Products will own and operate two large-scale air separation units, two large-scale auto-thermal reforming units, and a hydrogen production unit in Uzbekistan.
Source: Pennsylvania Business Report
Iran and Turkmenistan Sign Five New Agreements
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the Chairman of the People's Council of Turkmenistan, met in Tehran on May 30 to sign several new cooperation agreements. These agreements are in the spheres of higher education, electricity transfer, trade and customs, and general diplomacy.
Source: Tehran Times
Security and Politics
Assistant Secretary Geoffrey Pyatt Travels to Azerbaijan
Between May 30 and June 2, State Department’s Bureau of Energy Resources (ENR) Assistant Secretary Geoffrey Pyatt was in Azerbaijan to participate in the 28th annual Baku Energy Week. During his visit, Assistant Secretary Pyatt planned to meet with Azerbaijani government officials to discuss topics such as energy security and opportunities to increase use of renewable energy sources, as well as with energy officials from other countries and organizations to further promote international cooperation.
Source: U.S. State Department
Aliyev and Pashinyan to Meet in Chisinau
On June 1, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Armeniam Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan are expected to hold meetings on the sidelines of the European Political Community summit held in Chisinau, Moldova. The two leaders intend to hold meetings in a trilateral format with the President of the European Council, Charles Michel. Moreover, a five-way meeting is also expected to take place on the sidelines, including Aliyev, Pashinyan, and Michel, as well as the President of France Emmanuel Macron and Chancellor of Germany Olaf Scholz. Chisinau meetings come amid comments by U.S. State Department commending Pashinyan’s commitment to peace and Aliyev’s recent remarks on consideration of amnesty.
Erdogan Wins Türkiye’s Presidential Runoff Elections
Türkiye’s incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan won more than 52% of the vote in the second round of presidential elections held on May 28, securing a five-year tenure. His win in the closely-followed election against opponent Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu has made him the longest-serving President of the Republic of Türkiye.
Source: Daily Sabah
Israeli President Isaac Herzog Visits Azerbaijan
On May 30, Israel’s President Isaac Herzog traveled to Azerbaijan for an official visit. President Herzog was accompanied on the visit by Health and Interior Minister Moshe Arbel, who signed an agreement on healthcare cooperation with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Teymur Musayev. “We are looking at the regional-security structure that is threatened by Iran, a topic we discussed in depth, and we look forward to the development of cooperation between us in many fields such as academia, agriculture, and many other fields,” said President Herzog. In return, President Aliyev expressed gratitude to Israel for the growing defense cooperation between the two countries.
Kazakhstan’s President Tokayev Rejects Lukashenko’s Offer to Join a Union State With Russia and Belarus
On May 29, Kazakhstan’s President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev declined Belarus’ President Alexander Lukashenko’s offer for Kazakhstan to join the “Union State” between Belarus and Russia. “I appreciated his joke. I don’t think there’s any need for this, since there are other integration arrangements, primarily the Eurasian Economic Union,” Tokayev responded. On May 24, speaking at the Eurasian Economic Forum, Tokayev commented on the “phenomenon” of the Union State, noting that “even nuclear weapons are now shared between Belarus and Russia.”
President Biden Sends a Letter to President Aliyev
On May 31, U.S. President Joe Biden sent a letter to Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev. The letter comes amid the International Caspian Oil and Gas Exhibition. In the letter, President Biden emphasizes the partnership two countries have built for more than 30 years. “This event underscores our countries’ shared commitment to a secure and clean energy future. Azerbaijan has played a central role in this effort,” said Biden. He further added that Azerbaijan has been contributing to global energy security through developing the Middle Corridor (including the Southern Gas Corridor) and through helping increase energy diversification. “The United States will stand with Azerbaijan as you implement these measures, as well as undertake reforms that will promote rule of law and advance opportunities for the Azerbaijani people,” Biden concluded.
Source: Trend News Agency
Sources: Daily Sabah, News.am, Meduza, Middle East Eye, Pennsylvania Business Report, RFE/RL, Tehran Times, Trend News Agency, TV7 Israel News, U.S. State Department