Speech by Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov at the First session of the "Uzbekistan – Azerbaijan – Türkiye" Dialogue Format


August 2, 2022, Tashkent

Distingushed ministers,

Dear colleagues,

1. I would like to emphasize that today’s meeting was preceded by very important events in our relations - the official visit of the President 
of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdogan in March of this year and the state visit of the President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliev in June of this year to Uzbekistan.

2. The rapid and ambiguous developments in international relations and the global economy urgently demand the creation of an «Uzbekistan - Azerbaijan – Türkiye» Dialogue Format.

Due to political will and the course set by the Heads of our States, over the past years, Uzbekistan’s relations with Azerbaijan and Turkiye have reached a qualitatively new stage of development, acquire «strategic depth» and open up wide prospects of mutually beneficial cooperation.

A meaningful dialogue, a high degree of trust and mutual understanding established between the Leaders of the three countries give a powerful impetus to building up relations based on the principles of mutual respect, benefit and support in all spheres of our cooperation.

Dear friends!

3. It is gratifying to note that our countries share common positions on many international issues, as we are all united in the same goal – the peaceful sustainable and dynamic development of the Turkic world.

We look forward to joint close cooperation in the preparation and successful holding of the First Summit of the Organization of Turkic States in this November in Uzbekistan.

We give special attention for strengthening of our trade-economic and transport cooperation.

4. Thanks to joint efforts, trade between Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan has increased almost sevenfold in the past five years alone, and with Türkiye – two and a half times. 

This positive trend will certainly continue this year.

However, the achieved high dynamics of economic cooperation with Azerbaijan and Türkiye still does not fully meet the existing potential for interaction.

Today, there are all conditions for a fuller use of existing reserves in a mutually beneficial partnership. 

5.  Similar national priorities outlined in the «Development Strategy of New Uzbekistan», the consonant strategy «Azerbaijan 2030», and Türkiye - «Vision 2053» create a solid foundation for building long-term cooperation in strategically important areas.

In this regard, our countries which play important roles in their regions, can and should become drivers of interregional cooperation.

6. It is well known historical fact that the regions inhabited by the Turkic peoples served as a transport and trade bridge between East and West, North and South for millennia.

That’s why of particular relevance is the desire of our countries to develop today interregional transport corridors.

It is important for Uzbekistan to active use the transit potential of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway.

Today we are actively working to elaborate a feasibility study for the construction project of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan railway. 

At the summit of the SCO heads of state in Samarkand on September 15-16 of this year is planned to sign an appropriate trilateral document.

We believe that the connection of the railway corridor “China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan” with Transkaukasus Corridor will create a single transport network between our countries and expand the geography of trade from China to the Europe.

That’s why Uzbekistan is interested in the recovery of the Zangazur corridor, which could provide the shortest overland route from Asia to Europe. 

7. Great prospects for our countries will open up with the creation of the Trans-Afghan corridor. 

On July 26, in Tashkent, we held the International Conference Afghanistan: Security and Economic Development, which was also attended by a high-level delegation of the Interim Government of Afghanistan. 

The Taliban Movement agreed that the construction of the Termez - Mazar-i-Sharif - Kabul - Peshawar railway is of great strategic importance for the reconstruction of Afghanistan.

This project will significantly reduce the time and cost of cargo transportation between the two largest sub-regions Europe and South Asia and open up a unique opportunity for Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Türkiye to directly access the promising markets of South Asia with a total population of 1.9 billion people and $3.5 trillion of GDP.

Our countries as hubs in their regions should not be limited only to the function of «transit points», but must form economic corridors by creating along existing transport routes of industrial cooperation, logistics and sales outlets. 

This will make it possible together to produce and supply high value-added products to foreign markets.

8. One of the incentives for strengthening foreign economic relations is tourism, considered to be a reliable driver of stable growth of our economies.

It is important to develop and implement trilateral travel packages to introduce our countries, especially our youth, with the common historical heritage, which will contribute to strengthening cultural and humanitarian ties between Tashkent, Baku and Ankara.

9. To ensure the sustainable development of our countries and regions we propose to give our format a regular character and hold meetings on an annual basis in turn in each of the three countries.

We believe that it would be useful to organize a scientific and practical conference between think tanks of our countries in order to develop concrete ideas on the perspectives of cooperation in the «troika» meeting. 

We are ready to host this event in Tashkent within the terms acceptable to all of us.

Thank you for your attention.

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