Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu delivered the opening speech at the Second Meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Transport of Turkey-Azerbaijan-Kazakhstan in Aktau, a Kazakh port on the coast of the Caspian Sea. Minister Cavusoglu said in his speech;
“We have raised Turkish-Kazakh relations to the level of an expanded strategic partnership. This year, our leaders have organized two state visits. We have signed 20 agreements. Our relations with Can Azerbaijan are at the level of alliance. This year, our esteemed President visited Azerbaijan twice, and Chenap President Aliyev visited our country three times. We are strategic partners with Georgia. We are in constant contact with my friend Ilya Darchiashvili, the Minister of Foreign Affairs. We want to hold a high-level Strategic Cooperation Council summit in Georgia as soon as possible, within the framework of our President’s visit. We need to cope with the challenges posed by global and regional developments and use opportunities to our advantage.
This is the main goal of the triple mechanism that we launched in June. The pandemic and the Russo-Ukrainian war have highlighted the importance of maintaining access to global markets. This requires a strong transport infrastructure. Every day the importance of the middle East-West corridor with the Caspian transit increases. The volume of goods transported in the middle aisle is expected to be 6 times higher in 2022 than in 2021. This is about 3.2 million tons. International players are also showing growing interest in the Middle Corridor.
Now we have a position that ensures trade and economic cooperation between Asia and Europe. We can realize our potential by removing barriers to transport and trade. Prior to this meeting, our ministries of transport have prepared a roadmap for 2022-2027, including specific elements of cooperation, in order to strengthen the infrastructure of the Middle Corridor. We are also very grateful to them. As we emphasized earlier, projects such as the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline and the TANAP pipeline are of a strategic nature. Our investments such as Marmaray, Sultan Selim Yavuz Bridge, 1915 Canakkale Bridge are also the product of a strategic vision. The liberation of the occupied territories of Azerbaijan opens up new opportunities. We have opened the Fizuli and Zangilan airports, which connect Karabakh with the world. At the TDT Samarkand Summit, we took many steps to strengthen transport links and commercial cooperation between us. When the TRNC became an observer member of the TDT, our organization expanded its access to the Mediterranean. Similar steps will be taken under TDT.
We will continue to deepen our cooperation not only in trade and transport, but also in the cultural and political spheres. In this context, we attach particular importance to the work we are doing for a common alphabet and the steps taken to protect our common heritage. We are aware of both the challenges and the opportunities. We can’t waste time. Our meeting today is the result of this understanding. Together we will move forward with concrete steps.”
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