Headlines from the Caspian: November 15, 2022
Author: Caspian Policy Center
Nov 15, 2022
Security and Policy
Ninth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States in Samarkand
The summit, on November 11, was attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sadyr Japarov, President of Türkiye Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Hungary Viktor Orbán, Former President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, and former Secretary General of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) Baghdad Amreyev. The theme of this summit was: “New Era for Turkic Civilization: Towards Common Development and Prosperity.” During the summit, Ambassador Kubanchybek Omuraliev was appointed as the new Secretary General of the organization.
Syrian Woman Arrested for Suspected Involvement in Deadly Terror Attack in Istanbul
An explosion on a busy shopping street killed at least six people and wounded others in Istanbul on November 13. A Syrian woman believed to be a prime suspect has been arrested along with 47 others believed to have potential involvement in the attack. Turkish officials believe that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which the United States, the European Union, and Türkiye classify as a terrorist organization, was responsible for the attack. On his Twitter account, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken extended condolences to the families of the victims and the Turkish people, emphasizing that “the U.S. stands united with our Turkish allies.”
Georgia Announces Plans to Start Domestic Drone Production
Georgia’s Defense Minister, Juansher Burchuladze announced on November 14 that Georgia will be producing drones domestically by 2023. The production will be done through a Georgian-Polish company, Delta-WB, and the launch is said to happen after the successful testing of Georgia’s first unmanned aerial vehicle.
Tajikistan and Iran Discuss Increasing Tourism Relations
On November 13, Iran’s Deputy Tourism Minister, Ali-Asghar Shalbafian and the Tajikistan’s Chairman of the Committee for Tourism Development, Tojiddin Jurazoda convened in Dushanbe to discuss increasing tourism between the two countries. Jurazoda requested that the prices be lowered for flight tickets to Iran and that there be an increase in the number of flights from Mashhad and Tehran to Dushanbe.
Source: Tehran Times
Uzbekistan’s President Mirziyoyev Appoints His Daughter to Administration
On November 14, Uzbekistan President Mirziyoyev appointed his daughter, Saida Mirziyoyeva as Head of Communications and Information Policy Department of the presidential administration. She will lead the implementation of social reforms in the cultural sphere.
U.S. to Continue Supporting Regional Partners Against Iran’s Threats
During a press briefing held on November 10, while answering a journalist’s question about Washington’s possible reaction to Iran’s increasing rhetoric against neighboring countries such as Azerbaijan, the Spokesperson for the U.S. State Department Ned Price stated that the U.S. “will continue to stand with our partners, to support them, and ultimately to stand against the kind of destabilizing influence that Iran presents and – in its region and perhaps beyond.”
Sources: U.S. State Department, CaspianNews
U.S. and Azerbaijan Explore Prospects for Military Cooperation
On November 12, the First Deputy Minister of Defense and Chief of the General Staff of the Azerbaijani Army Colonel General Karim Valiyev met with the military attaché of the U.S. to Azerbaijan, Colonel Kyle Matthew Cone. The two sides exchanged views on the prospects for cooperation in the military, military-technical, military-educational, and other spheres, as well as other issues of mutual interest.
The Kyrgyz Republic Parliament Committee Passes Bill on the Delimitation of Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan Border
On November 15, the Parliament Committee for International Affairs, Defense, Security and Migration ratified the agreement on the delimitation of the Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan border. Several MP’s walked out in protest of the bill, including members of the Butun faction, which has announced that it will not support the agreement.
Blinken and Pashinyan Discuss Steps to Normalize Baku-Yerevan Relations
On November 15, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan held a telephone conversation. Blinken and Pashinyan exchanged views on the normalization of relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Secretary Blinken expressed willingness of the U.S. to continue to the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh issue.
Sources: Vestnik Kavkaza, Armenia News
Energy and Economy
Kazakhstan to Start Exporting Oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline
Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Alikhan Smailov announced, on November 10, Kazakhstan will begin exporting oil through the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) pipeline starting on January 1, 2023. At the press briefing, Smailov detailed that 1.5 million tons of oil will be directed towards the BTC through the Middle Corridor Caspian Sea route, and an additional 6-6.5 million tons is being “worked out.” He also added that Tengizchevroil has doubled its tank cars and it has begun shipping oil via railway to Batumi.
Delegation from the Germany Engineering Union to Visit Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan’s state-owned media company, Turkmenportal, announced that on November 21-26, on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economics, the Germany Engineering Union (VDMA) will visit Turkmenistan. Turkmenportal also reported that Turkmenistan has "chosen Monforts equipment for its new textile complex in Kaka.” Monforts is a German textile manufacturer, which Turkmenistan purchased 15 machines from.
Organization of Turkic States Establish Turkic Invesment Fund
During the ninth Summit of the Organization of Turkic States (OTS) held in Samarkand on November 11, the member-states signed a decision to establish the Turkic Investment Fund. The organization’s former Secretary General Baghdad Amreyev was appointed head of the fund.
Source: Vestnik Kavkaza
Canadian-Based Company Established Partnership with Kazakhstan to Mine Lithium
Condor Energies, a Canadian energy company, has signed a legally binding agreement with the Ministry of Geology of Kazakhstan for hydrocarbon and lithium exploration. Condor will operate in Kazakhstan under a Build-Own-Operate agreement, with Kazakhstan receiving 5% working interest. The six-year contract will grant Condor the subsurface exploration rights for minerals in the 68 square-kilometer Lithium License area.
Source: Azo Mining
Sources: Armenia News, Agenda.ge, AkiPress, Azertag.az, BBC, Caspian News, Eurasianet, Inform.kz, Organization of Turkic States, Tehran Times, Turkmenportal, Twitter, U.S. State Department, Vestnik Kavkaza.