BTK proves the importance of regional cooperation and good neighborliness-ANALYSIS

BTK proves the importance of regional cooperation and good neighborliness-ANALYSIS
# 30 October 2022 12:44 (UTC +04:00)

Today, 5 years have passed since the opening of another important initiative of Azerbaijan with Georgia and Turkey aimed at regional stability, security and prosperity - the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars (BTK) railway project. BTK, which has the status of the shortest and most reliable road between Europe and Asia, has been serving to further develop the business environment in the region, increase mutual trust between countries, and strengthen neighborly relations since its inception. The opening of the project is not only a historical event for the region, but also a new one in the relations between Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey.

Importance of BTK for the region

The BTK railway line project was a sequence of joint projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum, which can be considered the logical result of the effective cooperation of Azerbaijan with Turkey and Georgia. Since the implementation of the project is of great geopolitical importance, some foreign circles, jealous of Azerbaijan, tried to create difficulties in its construction in various ways. However, due to the strong will and mutual support of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey, the project was realized. In this regard, the BTK project is an example of the importance of mutually beneficial cooperation between neighboring and friendly countries. The longest part of the 850-kilometer BTQ railway line - 504 kilometers - passes through the territory of Azerbaijan. According to the project, transportation along the line will be 5 million tons per year at the initial stage. After the full capacity of the line is put into operation, the volume of transported cargo will reach 17 million tons and it is expected to increase even more. This will ultimately serve to make Azerbaijan one of the most important transport hubs located on the "Middle Corridor". For this purpose, railway and port infrastructure are continuously being improved in Azerbaijan, and reforms are being carried out in order to increase the transparency and efficiency of the customs service. It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan can successfully cope with global challenges today thanks to the opportunities it has prepared from the beginning.

BTQ is the result of the visionary policy of President Ilham Aliyev

The BTQ railway project of strategic importance is the result of the visionary policy of the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev. Five years ago, the head of state gave the message that the project will be of global importance during his speech at the opening ceremony of the BTK: "I want to note once again that Baku-Tbilisi-Kars is a historical project, a global project. This project will bring the countries closer together. This project will play its role in ensuring stability and security in the region. This project will increase our economic opportunities and we will get huge funds. Of course, I want to say once again that the implementation of this project was possible only due to the joint efforts of Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. We didn't get any help or credit from anywhere, we built this road with our own internal resources and we are putting it into use today."

He once again showed that the head of state was right in the past. The importance of this project, which serves to strengthen the position of Azerbaijan in both geopolitical and economic terms, shows itself more clearly in the current international conditions. Against the background of the ongoing war in Ukraine, the Western sanctions imposed on Moscow and the search for new corridors bypassing the territory of Russia have increased the interest in the transport and logistics possibilities of the "Middle Corridor" and Azerbaijan located on this corridor. New global challenges increase the importance of our country's highways, railway infrastructure, as well as BTQ. Thanks to the infrastructure projects implemented in the past years, Azerbaijan is currently among the countries most ready for these challenges.

BTQ proves the importance of regional cooperation and friendly relations between neighbors

A few days ago, the President of the Council of the European Union (EU) Charles Michel, who was on a visit to Kazakhstan, announced that discussions on increasing the capabilities of the "Middle Corridor" will be held at the conference to be held in Samarkand in November. This shows that Europe is interested in increasing the role of this corridor in the East-West transportation, therefore it is a supporter of stability and security in the countries located on the corridor.

It is one of the parties that intends to increase its export opportunities with the "One Belt, One Road" initiative, to strengthen trade relations in the Western direction by reviving the historical "Silk Road", and for this, it is trying to diversify the transport corridors.

As a result of its occupation policy against Azerbaijan, Armenia blocked itself by delaying the signing of the peace agreement and is missing the next unique economic opportunity that has arisen by preventing the opening of regional communications.

The implementation of globally significant projects, which require billions of dollars for their implementation, requires political will as well as mutual trust between countries, along with economic opportunities. From this point of view, the successful completion and successful start of globally important projects such as BTK, BTC, BTE, TANAP, TAP, etc., implemented on the initiative of Azerbaijan, is an indicator of the will of the head of state and the trust in him, as well as the economic opportunities of Azerbaijan.

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