Media Highlights of the Week - May 10, 2021
Author:Caspian Policy Center
May 10, 2021
Energy and Economy
Azerbaijan and Japan Sign Deal to Bring Green Energy to Reclaimed Territories
Azerbaijan and Japan signed a green energy deal that encompasses expanding the use of renewable energy in the territories that Azerbaijan reclaimed in the 2020 Karabakh War. The joint project includes addressing integration efforts for renewable energy facilities, enhancing energy transport, and financing green energy efforts.
Azerbaijan and Georgia Sign Bilateral Railway Cooperation Protocol
Azerbaijan’s and Georgia’s railway operators signed a bilateral cooperation protocol that identified the logistical and transit opportunities needed for the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway to reach its full potential. Officials hope that the new protocol will promote increased trade and passenger turnover between the two countries.
Georgia and North Macedonia Sign Visa-Free Agreement
During Georgian President Salome Zurabishvili’s official visit to North Macedonia, the two sides signed the agreement on visa exemption. Both countries hope that the arrangement will strengthen bilateral relations between the two nations and promote cooperation in tourism and business.
Uzbekistan and France Ink Program on Cooperation
In a meeting between Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister Abdulaziz Kamilov and a French delegation in Tashkent, the two parties discussed increasing cooperation in the economic, cultural, political, and humanitarian sectors. The meeting concluded with signing the program of cooperation for 2021-2022.
Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan Plan to Sign MoU on Auditing
Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding on auditing. In the trilateral meeting among the delegations, officials discussed strengthening external public financial control and taking advantage of sharing useful information to meet international financial standards.
Kazakhstan Extends Visa-Free Regime Suspension Due to Pandemic
Kazakhstan extended the suspension of its visa-free regime for citizens from 54 previously approved countries until December due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The suspension expired on May 1 and was reinstated by Kazakhstan’s Foreign Ministry to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
Security and Politics
Official Counts of Casualties in Kyrgyz-Tajik Border Clashes Released
Tajik authorities announced that 19 people were killed and 87 injured in clashes along a disputed segment of the border with Kyrgyzstan. Kyrgyz authorities said that 36 Kyrgyz citizens died in the violence, while 189 people were injured and 58,000 were evacuated.
Rahmon and Putin Meet, Discuss Recent Border Clashes and U.S. Withdrawal of Troops from Afghanistan
Tajik President Emomali Rahmon and Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed the recent border clashes between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, with Rahmon stating his dedication to permanently resolving the border problem. They also discussed the implications of the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, with Rahmon describing the security situation in Afghanistan as worrying. Putin reiterated Russia’s support for the Tajik armed forces, particularly through joint programs with the 201st Russian Military Base in Tajikistan.
Central Asian and Chinese Foreign Ministers to Meet
The foreign ministers of Central Asian countries and China are planning to meet on May 11-12. This was announced by the press secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, Yusup Kabuljanov. The first “Central Asia – China” format meeting was held via video conference in July 2020.
Kazakhstan Sends Humanitarian Aid to Kyrgyzstan
The press Secretary of the President of Kazakhstan Berik Uali announced on May 6 that Kazakhstan would send humanitarian aid in the form of 10 thousand tons of flour to Uzbekistan. Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that aid would be provided due to a traditional friendship and ongoing strategic partnership between the two countries.
Armenian Lawmakers Reject Pashinyan’s Candidacy in Snap Elections
Armenia's parliament rejected the candidacy of acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as the new head of government, in an agreed first step toward holding snap parliamentary elections. Pashinyan resigned on April 25, clearing the way for parliamentary elections to be held.
Aliyev and Garibashvili Meet to Discuss Azerbaijani-Georgian Relations
On May 5, Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili met with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku. They discussed political, economic, transit and energy cooperation, citing the collaboration between the countries in the implementation of the Southern Gas Corridor. Garibashvili said that Tbilisi plans to carry out more joint projects with Baku in the future.
(Sources: Agenda.ge, Akipress, Azernews, Civil.ge, KazInform, RFE/RL, UzDaily)