• KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01185 0.85%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00211 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09377 -0.21%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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Kazakhstan Works with Armenia and Azerbaijan for South Caucasus Peace

By Robert M. Cutler On May 10–11, Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev hosted peace talks between the Azerbaijani and Armenian foreign ministers. These constructive negotiations were strictly bilateral, with Kazakhstan absent from the room and only providing the venue for the meeting. The event illustrates the dedication by Tokayev and his foreign policy to regional stability and mediation. Kazakhstan has done this sort of thing in the past; it hosted Russia–Turkey–Iran talks over Syria until last year. It was also mentioned as a place for bilateral Russia–Ukraine negotiations, although that idea never materialized.   Armenia's Future is in the South Caucasus and Asia Tokayev had offered to provide the venue during his first official visit to Armenia, which took place on April 15 this year. His trip to Armenia may in retrospect be seen as a turning point. Former President Nursultan Nazarbayev had been forced to cancel a visit in 2016, following protests in Yerevan against Astana's support of Baku in the Karabakh conflict. Armenia’s participation in the new peace efforts, now under way for a couple of years, marks a significant shift after decades of rejecting such cooperation. It offers the prospect of renewed regional relations. Under Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Armenia has lately been trying to shift its foreign policy, reaching out to Western countries such as France and the U.S. in order to decrease its long-standing dependence on (some would say, vassalage to) Russia. But Armenia is a state in the South Caucasus, not in Europe or America. For this reason, the state’s objective interests (as opposed to those of the far-flung diaspora) are geopolitically compatible with those of Azerbaijan and Turkey, and also of Kazakhstan more distantly. Astana’s ties with Baku and Ankara, and Azerbaijan’s strengthening of its own ties with Central Asia, reflect strategic manoeuvring in the region. These partnerships enhance Kazakhstan's and Turkey's roles in promoting stability and development in the South Caucasus. They consequently offer Armenia a new path to prosperity. Peace with Azerbaijan would lead to the lifting of the Turkish embargo on Armenia and open the possibility of Armenia's integration into the Trans-Caspian International Trade Route (TITR, "Middle Corridor"). Such an opening would further widen Armenia's diplomatic vistas and decrease its dependence on Russia. Turning to Europe and the U.S. can offer some advantages, but Armenia must be cautious of the influence of a bellicosely irredentist Armenian diaspora, whose interests are not first and foremost the well-being of Armenians living in Armenia. Prioritizing regional integration and cooperation with its South Caucasus neighbours and other TITR participants will enable Armenia proper to build a more stable and prosperous future.   Infrastructure and Connectivity Initiatives With the assistance of the international financial institutions, the European Union and Central Asia are developing the TITR as a critical trade corridor that will also contribute significantly to the prosperity and stability of the countries lying along its route. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have long been key players in the promotion and realization of this plan. The Middle Corridor,...