THE DYNAMICS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF RELATIONS BETWEEN THREE COUNTRIES: AZERBAIJAN, THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND PAKISTAN

 

Relations with the United States have always been one of the priorities of foreign policy of Azerbaijan Republic. These relations meet the interests of the two countries, cover various areas of bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

The constant steps taken by Azerbaijan to integrate into the democratic world have played an important role in normalizing relations with the United States as the superpower of the world. On the other hand, the role of Azerbaijan in the energy supply of Europe is one of the factors that deepen relations between Azerbaijan and the United States.

Establishing good and reasonable relations with the world powers is considered one of the main priorities of every newly-independet states, and Azerbaijan and USA are corporating successfully. Of course, looking deep inside, there are some distinctions that seperate the national and global interests in political science and whenever a new state wants to guarantee its international recognition and territorial integration, it needs to concentrate on the close relationships among the world powers including USA and generating a balanced foreign policy.

The official relations between the countries begin after the visits of President Heydar Aliyev to United States and establisihing the relations which rely on mutual-interests is due to his wise foreign policy. During the official visit of President Heydar Aliyev to the United States in 1997, important official documents were signed following a meeting with President Bill Clinton, and relations between the countries reached a new level and became an important event in the history of the independent Republic of Azerbaijan. During the one-on-one meeting, President Clinton highly appreciated the work and the policy implemented by Heydar Aliyev in Azerbaijan and wished him success in his future life.

When considering about the main priorities of the relations, a number of important factors can be demonstrated as below:

1) The end of the Cold War and the overthrow of the existing world order after the collapse of the USSR and the rise of the United States to the number one hegemonic state of the world;

2) US position in the NATO, which plays an important role in contemporary international relations;

3) Acting as Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group for the settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh Conflict;

4) Being a permanent member of the UN Security Council;

5) Being one of the most developed states of the world in political, economic, military and other spheres.

The United States of America was interested in establishing and developing relations with Azerbaijan Republic after its independece. Of course, this giant state has its own interests and ‘why’s over the region and there lies the real core of the relations between two countries. Why does America has its special interests in Azerbaijan?

1) First comes the region and location of Azerbaijan. The country is located on the crossroads of three regions - in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, which determine the American interests and foreign policy.

2) Azerbaijan is rich in oil and gas reserves, so after regaining independence in 1991, the country has decided to open its resources to the Western market and develop economic relations with US companies.

3) Azerbaijan attaches more efforts to ensure peace and security in the region, and demonstrates a Western-oriented policy in comparison with other countries in the region and its northern and southern neighbours (Iran and Russia). This is one of the key factors that make it possible for the United States to implement the Caucasus priorities.

4) Of course, Azerbaijan is a friend and strategic ally with Israel and this fact

alone affects the future of the dynamic of the relations between Azerbaijan and

USA.

The first noticable important area of relations between two countries is global security and terrorism. Azerbaijan closely cooperates with the United States in the fight against terrorism, which threatens the national interests of the United States and the entire civil world. Azerbaijan also actively cooperated with the United States as an active member of the international antiterrorist coalition against Afghanistan since 2001.

One of the central and important aspects of Azerbaijan-American relations is the problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. As a member of the OSCE Minsk Group, the United States is actively involved in the conflict resolution process. Azerbaijan always counts on the active role of the United States in this process. From this point of view, it is important for USA as the co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group that the Azerbaijani side demonstrate its position on the status-quo in resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and emphasize the importance of the conflict within the framework of international law, as well as to ensure global and regional security.

The development of the relations between the countries is the result of Azerbaijan’s achievements in recent years. The Republic of Azerbaijan acts as a self-established state in the international arena. Today relations with Azerbaijan are among the priorities of many foreign countries in the world. Azerbaijan’s position in the international arena and its rich energy resources are always interesting for USA and make the country more necessary for its policy.

Future perspectives of the relations between the countries look straightforward and fertile and as long as Azerbaijani government will continue to conduct the balanced and aforethought policy between the West and its ‘closer’ neighborhoods.

The more integrative the world becomes, the more strategic alliances emerge in terms of political, cultural and economical needs backing on the historical practices. Azerbaijan and Pakistan – two old friendly states have their own approaches to concept cooperation and the notion of strategically allience. The ideological factor in Azerbaijan-Asia rapprochement also has a significant impact. Unlike the Christian countries of the West (countries where the Armenian lobby is multidimensional), the countries of the Islamic religion dominate in Asia. From this point of view, Azerbaijan attaches special importance to relations with Pakistan, which is one of the leading states of the East and has a great reputation in the world politics, in the geopolitical and geo-economic spheres it has deemed necessary cooperation with the state.

Pakistan is one of the first Muslim states to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan (December 12, 1991), establishing diplomatic relations with the country (June 9, 1992) and opening of its embassy in Azerbaijan (March 12, 1993). Pakistan, one of the closest and friendlier countries of Azerbaijan, always protects the interests of the country in all international organizations. The anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries is celebrated in 2017. Cooperation between the two countries is based on politics, economics, security, culture, defense, and other areas. After the meeting of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev with Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto in December 1994 in Casablanca, bilateral relations began to develop at a high level, which had a significant impact on the pace of cultural cooperation. Then documents were signed regulating the development of cultural relations in the framework of regular meetings of the heads of state and government of Azerbaijan and Pakistan and official visits to each other.

In April 1996, during the visit of Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev to Pakistan, an agreement on friendship and cooperation between the two countries was signed. The provisions of this treaty are considered as priority in strengthening cultural cooperation in the development of friendly relations between the two countries. New advances have been made in science and education. The Pakistani side helped Azerbaijan with its rich experience of military education, information technology and telecommunications and implemented practical measures in this area. In addition to traditional forms of Azerbaijani-Pakistani cultural ties, it also led to the solution of some cultural problems in the system of multilateral relations.

President Parviz Musharraf visited Baku in July 2004 and in respond to this visit, President Ilham Aliyev visited Pakistan in April 2005. In May 2006, former Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz visited Azerbaijan for attending the 9th  Economic Cooperation Organization and President Asif Ali Zardari also attended the 12th ECO Summit in 2012. Pakistani President Mahmoud Hussein visited Azerbaijan on March 11-14, 2015. This meeting opened a new page in bilateral relations, and the presidents of the two countries signed the Joint Declaration on Strategic Partnership between the two countries.

In the process of resolving the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Pakistan has always defended Azerbaijan, unlike the OSCE Minsk Group co-chairs, has unequivocally implemented a policy that is in line with Azerbaijan’s interests. At the same time, Azerbaijan also supported Pakistan, in the resolution of the Kashmir problem (Indian army occupied Kashmir province in 1947) based on the UN resolution.

The military factor played a significant role in Azerbaijan’s cooperation with Pakistan. In this regard, in the Agreement on Defense and Military Cooperation signed between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 2002, priority directions of the military-political partnership between the two countries was reflected. With this agreement, the military relations between the two countries have expanded, and Pakistan’s airplanes and other types of weapons have been obtained for Azerbaijan’s armed forces. In March 2015, Major General Iftihar Wain, Director of the General Directorate of Foreign Military Cooperation of the United Headquarters of Pakistan, was in Azerbaijan to negotiate to strengthen bilateral military cooperation. In the course of this visit, Azerbaijan and Pakistan signed a bilateral military cooperation protocol. For Azerbaijan, which is in war with Armenia, this military relationship was essential. The military partnership with Pakistan has had a major impact on improving the combat capability of the army of Azerbaijan, and the officers of the state have been able to further improve their education at higher military schools in the ‘fraternal’ country. In the geopolitical situation, Azerbaijan has gained an influential ally in Pakistan, which has contributed to the strengthening of the positions of the state in the international arena.

The key and solvent points of the relations between Azerbaijan and Pakistan can be sorted as below:

1) Azerbaijan needs both Western and Islamic-eastern support which maintains it foreign policy in terms of strength and balance, so besides collaborating with the powerful Western states, it is also important to develop relations between Islamic world;

2) After Turkey, Pakistan is the second ‘big supporter’ of Azerbaijan in international arena not for only religious ties, but also for the sympathy and common invasion cause (Nagorno Karabakh and Kashmir problems);

3) Pakistan is a strategic and military ally of Azerbaijan which enhances Azerbaijan’s military ability to defense its territories against Armenian invaders;

4) Azerbaijan is a door-way to the Western world and Pakistan evaluates the position and geopolitical location of Azerbaijan properly.

The further dynamic relations between the countries are developing every year. And there is no reason to expect or predict the opposite at least for the future near decades.




SUMMARY

Azerbaijan and Pakistan – two old friendly states have their own approaches to concept cooperation and the notion of strategically allience. Pakistan is one of the first Muslim states to recognize the independence of Azerbaijan (December 12, 1991), establishing diplomatic relations with the country (June 9, 1992) and opening of its embassy in Azerbaijan (March 12, 1993). Pakistan, one of the closest and friendlier countries of Azerbaijan, always protects the interests of the country in all international organizations. Azerbaijan attaches special importance to relations with Pakistan, which is one of the leading states of the East and has a great reputation in the world politics, in the geopolitical and geo-economic spheres it has deemed necessary for cooperating with the state.

Relations with the United States have always been one of the priorities of foreign policy of Azerbaijan Republic. These relations meet the interests of the two countries, cover various areas of bilateral and multilateral cooperation. The constant steps taken by Azerbaijan to integrate into the democratic world have played an important role in normalizing relations with the United States as the superpower of the world. On the other hand, the role of Azerbaijan in the energy supply of Europe is one of the factors that deepen relations between Azerbaijan and the United States. The development of the relations between the countries is the result of Azerbaijan’s achievements in recent years. The Republic of Azerbaijan acts as a self-established state in the international arena. Today relations with Azerbaijan are among the priorities of many foreign countries in the world. Azerbaijan’s position in the international arena and its rich energy resources are always interesting for USA and make the country more necessary for its policy.

Aysun Baghirzade

Aysun is researcher of political sciences at "School of Diplomacy" Western Caspian University of the Republic of Azerbaijan


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Muslim World Today.


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