Azerbaijan-Türkiye alliance marks milestone with Shusha Declaration anniversary
    Celebrating 3 years of unity

    ANALYTICS  15 June 2024 - 16:16

    Matanat Nasibova

    Today, June 15, marks the third anniversary of the signing of the Shusha Declaration — a historical event of significant magnitude and substance for Azerbaijan and Türkiye, and for regional politics as a whole.

    To recall, the declaration was signed on June 15, 2021, in Shusha by the Presidents of Azerbaijan and Türkiye, and it was ratified by the Milli Majlis on February 1, 2022, and by the Grand National Assembly on February 3 of the same year.

    The main point to emphasize in this context is that this is a comprehensive document for the two countries, fully reflecting the state interests of Azerbaijan and Türkiye. In particular, the Shusha Declaration envisages a solid military-political alliance between Baku and Ankara.

    Undoubtedly, this is a logical result of the enormous contribution of Baku and Ankara in creating a united, strong, and self-sufficient alliance, which the Shusha Declaration has cemented. There are several fundamental documents between the countries, including the Agreement on the Development of Friendship and Comprehensive Cooperation, the Protocol on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance, the Agreement on Strategic Partnership and Mutual Assistance, among others. But it is the Shusha Declaration that can be called the document that cemented all previously reached agreements, the main goals and objectives of interaction between Baku and Ankara after the 44-day war in Karabakh in 2020.

    The signing of the document is a clear indicator that the strong bilateral relations between the countries have become even stronger in the new realities, changing the previous balance of power in the region. The Shusha Declaration is a document that envisions the integration of partners and allies who are guided by each other's interests to an equal extent as their national interests.

    Accordingly, it is no exaggeration to say that the national interests of Azerbaijan and Türkiye largely coincide, which is a rather rare phenomenon in regional and even global politics. This is largely due to the fact that both states are led by leaders who possess great political will and a rare talent for state governance. It is hardly disputable that this is a crucial condition for any independent state in building a successful foreign policy course in the complex system of international relations.

    And, of course, the personal contacts between Presidents Aliyev and Erdoğan hold special significance in the relations between Baku and Ankara. Built on mutual trust, strong friendship, and unbreakable brotherhood, these ties strengthen day by day. This is undoubtedly facilitated by the fact that both leaders possess special charisma, the ability to skillfully build interstate relations in regional and global politics, have strong political will, and purposefully advance national interests, defending them at various international levels.

    Importance of the Shusha Declaration for Azerbaijan

    First and foremost, the Shusha Declaration means additional protection for Azerbaijan's sovereignty and territorial integrity. Considering the intensifying clash of interests among global powers and their escalating struggle for geopolitical influence, this document, which solidifies the alliance between Türkiye and Azerbaijan, is of particular significance. It is no coincidence that one of the points of this document is military support for Azerbaijan from Türkiye, which fully corresponds to the status of the military-political alliance between Baku and Ankara.

    In terms of regional threats, the Shusha Declaration is a serious deterrent for those forces that fuel revanchist sentiments in Armenia, primarily France. The Shusha Declaration allows Türkiye to provide appropriate support to Azerbaijan in the event of real threats, including intervention by third countries in Azerbaijan's internal affairs. It is appropriate to recall the statements of former Turkish Foreign Minister and member of the Grand National Assembly Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, made during his visit to Baku in April this year.

    "A number of countries, led by France, are leading Armenia astray. We have repeatedly stated this to French representatives. They need to abandon attempts to support Armenia in other ways. Let them not forget that our beloved Azerbaijan is never alone," he said, noting that, according to the Shusha Declaration, Türkiye will provide all kinds of support to Azerbaijan.

    In other words, Türkiye reminded the entire international community that the Shusha Declaration is a legitimate document that Baku and Ankara will use in the event of any aggression from external forces.

    …And for Türkiye

    For Türkiye, the Shusha Declaration signifies a strong presence in the South Caucasus, enhancing its economic, political, and military-strategic role in the region, and full-fledged participation in ensuring regional security. The Shusha Declaration grants Ankara the right to act as a guarantor of Azerbaijan's independence, security, and territorial integrity.

    Declaration elevating Baku and Ankara's image

    The importance of the Shusha Declaration is difficult to overestimate, not only because it covers a wide range of pressing issues in the military-political and trade-economic agenda of Ankara and Baku, but also because it significantly enhances the international and regional role of Azerbaijan and Türkiye in the global system of coordinates. Our countries are focused on multilateral, equitable cooperation, making the Baku-Ankara alliance a centre of attraction in regional politics, with other countries seeking to develop partnerships.

    The fact that Baku and Ankara are ready to work together and involve other countries in regional partnerships is stated in the declaration itself, and such a policy is being purposefully implemented by both countries today. Both Azerbaijan and Türkiye are open to mutually beneficial relations with regional partners in the trade-economic field and many other areas. On the other hand, the Shusha Declaration forms a legal basis not only for bilateral relations but also offers a new platform for security and economic cooperation for all regional states. The content of the declaration and the fact that it was signed in Shusha, a symbol of great Victory, make the document special and profound in its significance.

    "The Shusha Declaration, signed 100 years after the Kars Agreement, is based on our common history, reflects modern realities, and defines strategic directions of the current and future cooperation between Azerbaijan and Türkiye. The fulfilment of the obligations arising from the Declaration serves to deepen the cooperation between our countries in various fields, regional integration and security, to multiply the national strength of Azerbaijan and Türkiye, and to strengthen their positions of authority in the world," noted President Ilham Aliyev in his letter to the participants of the international conference on the topic "Azerbaijan-Türkiye strategic alliance is a source of peace and stability for the Caucasus and the wider region."

    What is also important to note is the immense value of the Shusha Declaration, which was signed on a historically significant date for the Azerbaijani people and the independent Azerbaijan - National Salvation Day. Additionally, it is worth highlighting that the document places a significant emphasis on joint efforts to modernize the army in accordance with contemporary requirements and to implement measures to strengthen military defence capabilities.

    Speaking at the signing ceremony of the declaration, the head of the Azerbaijani state particularly emphasized the importance of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Türkiye specifically in the defence industry and mutual military assistance. In the post-conflict period, the declaration is also significant for Azerbaijan as it provides for the intensification of efforts to diversify national economies and exports, the creation of mechanisms for the free movement of goods, the restoration of transport and communication links in the region, particularly through the opening of the Zangezur corridor. And, as President Aliyev rightly noted, "The Shusha Declaration elevates the relations between Azerbaijan and Türkiye to the highest level. To date, we have created qualitatively new ties. And all the points of this declaration are a guarantee of our future cooperation."

    Undoubtedly, the Shusha Declaration and the level of relations between Türkiye and Azerbaijan contribute to overall regional and international peace and prosperity, serving the stability, peace, and interests of the international community, especially the countries of the region.


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