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Central Asia-South Caucasia Platform for an Active Line

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In the summit of Organization Turkish States, that took place on November 12th, 2021, in Istanbul, the President of Kyrgyzstan Mr. Sadyr Japarov has suggested that, to strengthen the stability in Midline and to use the whole potential of the line, there should a platform built between the Central Asia and South Caucasia. It can be understood better while time passes, that the given suggestion is needed.

As it is known, terrorism, radicalism, and separation movements are increasing around the globe. This situation affects Central Asia directly, where is close to Afghanistan-based threats. Yet the ‘Tragic January Events’ that Kazakhstan had to live through has shown the possible risks. Moreover, even though there has been a significant consensus in Karabakh; the provocative actions on system of the third actors and some off-system factors, with the Karabakh Clan in the front line, has been observed, especially on Azerbaijan and Armenia.

It is important to state that; it would be a misconception to see the given occasions as a problem of only two states. For example, the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia not only affected them, but also all of the states in the area of South Caucasia, the people of the geography, and the transit route. Therefore, it is obvious that the various trade and transportation corridors are few of the important areas of competition in contemporary era. In this view, the occasions in Sri Lanka, the collapse of the government and the rising instability, is the most concrete evidence of the discussed struggle.

It is correct to refer Middle Line as one of the most important corridors between the East and the West. Because Middle Line is both shorter, cheaper and provides the safest route, compared to other lines. Central Asian states, the Caspian Sea, and South Caucasia are the key points of the Middle Line that reaches through China to Europe. Thus, strong bridges and cooperations are required. States of this region would be able to provide the security of both theirs and the Caspian Sea, with those cooperations. Furthermore, regional and between-regions cooperations complicates the acts of destabilization of the imperial actors.

Based on all these information, it can be said that a platform that will be built between would be critical on solving the regional problems. Because even though there may be various occasions between Azerbaijan and Armenia, Midline has to be finished in the shortest time period to provide benefit to Baku and Erivan. This would make possible the Zangezur Corridor to become a reality, and to reach its fully potential.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are appearing as the actors that strengthening the cooperation in the region, with their constructive role in regional problems. At this point, it can be referred that both states provide experience in mediation. Hence, in the platform that will be built between Central Asia and South Caucasia, it is apparent that Nur-Sultan and Tashkent would be the most important supporters of the dialogue and cooperation.

It is a fact that Central Asian states are experienced in taking joint actions, solving problems constructively and strengthening cooperation through the structures and organisations such as Central Asian Heads of State Consultation Meetings. Meaning that, on occasion of platform that Mr. Japarov suggested, it will be easier to pass the experience through South Caucasia. Because there is not a dialogue platform to provide a common roof to solve the problems and joint action opportunity for Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia in South Caucasia.

The discussed situation makes states of the region more open to threats and interventions. For an example, while the convergence between Azerbaijan and Georgia helps both states to economically develop; the exclusion of Armenia, harms the economical appearance of South Caucasia. Furthermore, economically excluded Armenia witnesses the birth of groups that driven with ethnically nationalist expressions, and organisations tend to terrorism. For sure, this is not only limited with the given state, but threatens the security and development of the whole South Caucasia.

In short, the urgency of a ‘5+3’ platform between Central Asia and South Caucasia increases each passing day. The peace environment in South Caucasia after the Second Karabakh War enabled the elimination of the biggest obstacle to the establishment of regional security, stability, and prosperity.

As it is known, significant part of the various problems between Central Asian states has been solved rapidly. Important developments are also occurring on solving the conflicts between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It can be observed that both states show a determined will on solving the conflicts with dialogue.

To sum up, the actions of foreign actors and various terrorist groups on destabilization the routes can be prevented by convergence and cooperation between regions. There are no doubts that; building a cooperation platform between the two regions will provide the development of an important defence mechanism; and strengthen the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity, and uniter structure of those states who takes part in.

Dr. Emrah KAYA
ANKASAM Dış Politika Uzmanı Dr. Emrah Kaya, Akdeniz Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nden mezundur. Yüksek lisans derecesini 2014 yılında Süleyman Demirel Üniversitesi Uluslararası İlişkiler Bölümü’nde hazırladığı “Latin Amerika'da Sol Liderlerin Yükselişi ve Uluslararası Politikaya Etkisi: Venezuela-Bolivya Örneği” başlıklı teziyle almıştır. Kaya, doktora derecesini de 2022 yılında aynı üniversitede hazırladığı "Terörle Mücadelede Müzakere Yöntemi: ETA-FARC-LTTE-PKK" başlıklı teziyle elde etmiştir. İyi derecede İngilizce bilen Kaya'nın başlıca çalışma alanları; Orta Asya, Latin Amerika, terörizm ve barış süreçleridir.