Azerbaijan-Afghanistan economic ties amid evolving geopolitical landscape
    Experts ponder prospects for expanding ties

    INTERVIEWS  22 February 2024 - 12:30

    Samir Ibrahimov

    Last week, Azerbaijan's first ambassador to Afghanistan in modern history, Ilham Mammadov, arrived in Kabul. He met with Amir Khan Muttaqi, the foreign minister of the Taliban government. Ilham Mammadov presented Muttaqi with an official letter inaugurating the embassy.

    It should be noted that some countries have already gone ahead and re-engaged with the Taliban. The US, for example, has not ruled out re-establishing its presence in Kabul. An Afghan Taliban ambassador has appeared in China, and Kazakhstan has removed the Taliban movement from its list of banned organisations.

    What does all this mean? Is there an understanding that even though the movement ruling Afghanistan is not recognised as legitimate and legal by everyone in the world, it is necessary to build relations with Afghanistan? Is it possible to establish pragmatic relations with the Taliban and cooperate with Afghanistan? Could Azerbaijan, for example, implement projects to cooperate in transport, to transit goods through it?

    Well-known experts on the region answered these questions for Caliber.Az.

    Grigory Mavrov, a Ukrainian orientalist, believes that it is important to note a number of points. According to him, the recognition of the Taliban government in Afghanistan is only a matter of time.

    "It was roughly the same with the Bolsheviks on the territory of the former Russian Empire. At first, many states refused to deal with Bolshevik Russia, but then economic relations led to diplomatic recognition also being sought.

    The return to Afghanistan of the old government, which is regarded as the legitimate government of Afghanistan, can hardly be taken seriously. Interestingly, the President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, also pointed out in his order that the opening of the embassy was not in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (as the Taliban themselves call Afghanistan), but in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (IRA), which is recognised by the majority of the world's states. China also does not recognise the Taliban government. However, it has established diplomatic and economic relations with them. Last year, several Chinese companies signed contracts with the Taliban government, the most important of which was a multimillion-dollar oil deal. This is not surprising, as China has a long-standing relationship with the Taliban group, motivated by national security concerns. For China, isolating the Taliban is potentially dangerous because it could further marginalise the regime and eventually turn Afghanistan into an international hub for all sorts of paramilitary groups. That is why China and some other countries are keen to develop their relations with the Taliban," the orientalist said.

    It is difficult to say how much trade with Afghanistan is favourable for Azerbaijan, the expert said.

    "Economic relations between the two countries have never been intensive, and the potential of mutual trade can hardly exceed Azerbaijan's trade with the previous regime in Afghanistan. At the same time, entering the Afghan market now, when the Taliban regime is not yet recognised, may be beneficial for Azerbaijani business and mutual relations between the two countries," Mavrov believes.

    The opening of the embassy is an important event, notes Andrei Serenko, head of the Russian Centre for the Study of Afghan Politics.

    "But I don't think there will be any serious economic projects between Azerbaijan and Taliban Afghanistan. Russia did not close its embassy in Kabul with the arrival of the Taliban. However, during the two years, the Taliban ruled, Moscow did not engage in any serious economic projects or political partnerships with the Taliban. Nor did the Chinese, who kept their embassy in Kabul and tried to develop personal and political contacts with the Taliban administration only in their security tasks. During the two years of the Taliban's rule, Beijing has only decided to undertake one real and very modest project - to extract oil from one of the wells in northern Afghanistan, I think in Sari Pul Province. Nothing more than that," Serenko said.

    As for the US, he noted that talk of plans to open an American embassy was nothing more than speculation.

    "US officials deny it. Kazakhstan's activity in contact with the Taliban is also a strange phenomenon. I think it is due to some external requests (from Qatar, which acts as the Taliban's proxy in Central Asia and has started investing money in Kazakhstan). Kazakhstan's security interests may play an important role here - there are many Kazakh militants in Afghanistan, and Tokayev's government would like to have an idea of their plans," the pundit concluded.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

"Baku and Yerevan can achieve results without mediators" Farhad Mammadov & Rasim Musabayov on Caliber.Az

20 April 2024 - 17:50

Triumph of sovereignty: Azerbaijan's quiet victory in the withdrawal of Russian peacekeepers Has & Verdiyan on Caliber.Az

20 April 2024 - 16:30

Unveiling Armenia’s motives behind lawsuits at The Hague From politics to policy

20 April 2024 - 12:35

Armenia's shift towards West sparks geopolitical concerns, potential security risks Armenia may become a target for Iranian or Russian missiles

19 April 2024 - 16:45

"Paris is irritated by failed intrigues against Baku" Foreign analysts on Caliber.Az

18 April 2024 - 12:46

Russian peacekeepers withdraw from Karabakh Amid changing dynamics in region

19 April 2024 - 12:32
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Azerbaijan’s Fuzuli residents returning home

    PHOTO

    22 April 2024 - 09:35

    Residents of border villages protest as Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on delimitation

    22 April 2024 - 09:17

    Fossil of largest snake to have ever existed found in western India

    22 April 2024 - 09:03

    Skies fill with color at Chinese kite festival

    22 April 2024 - 08:01

    Turkish KAAN: Second prototype nears completion

    flight tests next

    22 April 2024 - 06:02

    World’s largest neuromorphic computer by Intel works like human brain

    22 April 2024 - 04:03

    Lesser known UNESCO sites to visit in 2024

    from Luxembourg to Swiss wine country

    22 April 2024 - 02:04

    Amazonian town putting world cities to shame

    22 April 2024 - 00:04

    Botswana president: Europeans care more about elephants than people

    21 April 2024 - 22:00

    Nigerian chess champion plays for 60 hours in Times Square

    breaking marathon record

    21 April 2024 - 20:03

    Massive river flooding expected in China's Guangdong, threatening millions

    21 April 2024 - 18:30

    Syrian president expresses confidence in Russia's victory in Ukraine

    21 April 2024 - 18:03

    Scientists assess land subsidence in China’s major cities

    21 April 2024 - 17:52

    Hamas leader proposes two stages of political settlement

    21 April 2024 - 17:41

    Satellite analysis allegedly confirms "Israeli strike on Iranian air base in Isfahan"

    Report by Iran International

    21 April 2024 - 17:26

    Norway welcomes border delimitation agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia

    21 April 2024 - 17:09

    Türkiye denies claims on sharing with Israel info on Kurecik radar base

    21 April 2024 - 16:52

    Türkiye detains 36 suspects linked to Daesh in nationwide raids

    21 April 2024 - 16:34

    Global trends and Azerbaijan's oil industry

    Second wind of ACG field

    21 April 2024 - 16:24

    Türkiye aims "to bring the massacre in Gaza to an end", says MFA spokesman

    21 April 2024 - 16:13

    Ukrainian, Western leaders laud US aid package

    While the Kremlin warns of "further ruin"

    21 April 2024 - 15:57

    Missile strike on Sevastopol reportedly sets fire on Russian ship

    21 April 2024 - 15:41

    Azerbaijani police find artillery shells in Gubadli

    21 April 2024 - 15:26

    Greece kickstarts peace march against US-NATO-EU wars

    21 April 2024 - 15:12

    Lithuania, Poland conducting military exercises

    21 April 2024 - 14:54

    Israel attacks Hezbollah military targets in Lebanon

    21 April 2024 - 14:40

    Russia attacks 20 settlements in Ukraine’s Kherson

    21 April 2024 - 14:26

    S. Korea, Ukraine sign framework agreement

    21 April 2024 - 14:11

    Over 8,000 people still in evacuation centres due to floods in Kazakhstan

    21 April 2024 - 13:56

    Dozens of deals scheduled to be signed during Erdogan's visit to Iraq

    21 April 2024 - 13:39

    Diplomatic World Sweden shines light on Azerbaijan's landmine challenge

    That hinders reconstruction

    21 April 2024 - 13:24

    UNGA president welcomes Azerbaijan's efforts in transition to green energy

    21 April 2024 - 13:04

    Two Japanese helicopters crash during drill

    One dead, seven missing

    21 April 2024 - 12:48

    Scale of Iran's attack on Israel shocks US

    21 April 2024 - 12:33

    Russia attacks 13 communities in Ukraine's Sumy, injuring 1

    21 April 2024 - 12:16

    Honorary Consulate of Uzbekistan opened in Azerbaijan's Ganja

    PHOTO

    21 April 2024 - 11:59

    Azerbaijan's diplomatic masterstroke: Return of occupied villages marks strategic achievement

    New geopolitical reality

    21 April 2024 - 11:43

    Israel to summon ambassadors of 6 countries that voted for Palestinian UN membership

    21 April 2024 - 11:22

    Azerbaijani President's triumph, troubled Georgia, and a duel in the Middle East

    Caliber.Az weekly review

    21 April 2024 - 11:22

    US military aid to Israel sparks outrage from Palestinian leadership

    21 April 2024 - 11:06

All news