Aliev's journey from Warsaw to Istanbul
2017 July 11 ( Tuesday ) 14:23:07
President Ilham Aliyev, after a two-week international voyage, once again indicated his participation in domestic affairs by the reception of an Uzbek religious delegation.
Aliyev's tour began with a visit to Poland on June 26-28, and ended with a dinner with President Erdogan and a conversation with US Secretary of State, Tillerson, during an oil conference in Istanbul on July 9-10.
In Poland, Aliyev actually announced a return to active pro-European politics, somewhat even in a defiant tone, which until quite recently could seriously disappoint Moscow. But today the information coming from various capitals: from super-power to the countries barely noticeable on world maps, show that the time of compromises between East and West begins to replace the era of the last years of confrontation in the space from Ukraine to Syria.
Important geopolitical players in the South Caucasus, the United States and Russia, at the G-20 summit in Hamburg demonstrated to the whole world the convergence of positions in Ukraine and Syria, which are clear destabilizing factors of relations between the West and Russia.
Perhaps the meeting between Trump and Putin was the most notable informal agenda for the summit, which, at the time of the settlement of an important geopolitical confrontation, unleashed a knot of issues - combating climate warming and a free trade zone.
This key meeting, which satisfied both sides, creates prerequisites for reaching agreement on the South Caucasus, where the closer regional cooperation between Azerbaijan and Armenia with the European Union and the achievement of a compromise peace between the two belligerent states finding in the transaction between the Soviet past and the European future are important regional themes.
Reports from Yerevan that Armenia is preparing to sign an agreement on a comprehensive and expanded partnership with the consent of the Kremlin suggest that the South Caucasus figured the US-Russian dialogue. This agreement may be called a compromise, since it excludes the wording on the goal of EU membership, but at the same time, it lays the platform for association with this interstate organization. The same agreement is being prepared with Azerbaijan, which, as always, is more restrained in the issue of reaching a deal with the EU. It is expected that both countries will sign agreements with the EU in November in Brussels at the summit of the "Eastern Partnership". The last established cooperation between the US and Russia creates real chances for this. It should also be taken into account that unlike Georgia, which always outstripped its Caucasian neighbors in the European integration, Armenia and Azerbaijan became members of various European unions and projects virtually simultaneously. This was the case with membership in the Council of Europe, Partnership for Peace, etc. Facts give grounds to say that both sides will conclude long-awaited agreements with the EU in November, which will raise the bar of relations to a new level of European integration.
These issues, as shown by the brief official report on the meeting between Aliyev and Tillerson, were touched upon in Istanbul. The Secretary of State, who took part in the G20 summit on the eve of the meeting, and has information on Trump and Putin's agreements on a range of issues, could more confidently talk with Aliyev about the near future of his country's destiny, opening the corridor for maneuvers in the framework of the latest agreements between the presidents of the United States and Russia.
The meager and veiled information of the Aliyev administration on his meeting with the Secretary of State, shows that the issue of Azerbaijan's development based on a stable transaction from authoritarianism to democracy was the key one. The silent reaction of the United States to the last year's referendum in Azerbaijan, which opened the way to intra-family continuity of power, is now being continued in the Azerbaijani-American dialogue and increasingly points to the fact that the issue of the 2018 elections with the planned castling of Ilham and Mehriban Aliyevs becomes more realistic . But this castling is closely tied to the commitment to reforms, of which 12 road economic maps and national human rights action plans, etc., of which Washington has been mildly reminiscent recently, are an integral part.
We talked about Aliyev's visit to Poland and Turkey, but we do not know anything about his meetings between June 28 and July 8. However, However, his one-to-one dinner with Erdogan, which plays an important role in Azerbaijani affairs, shows that Aliyev was already ready by this time for a talk with Tillerson in the atmosphere of the warming the Turkish-American, American-Russian and Turkish-Russian relations. This mutual agreement between the important participants of the Caucasian process creates favorable conditions for the reform of Azerbaijan, stuck in the midst of the ups and downs of its 25-year post-Soviet autonomous existence. But, of course, the conversation between Aliyev and the Uzbek delegation was not about it.