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Eastern Express 14.11

The 9th summit of the Organisation of Turkic States was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan last week. Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan are permanent members of the Organisation, which seeks to foster co-operation between Turkic countries. Hungary and Turkmenistan hold observer status in the organisation.

During the meeting, Turkey handed over the organisation’s rotating chairmanship to Uzbekistan, which hosted this year’s event. Kyrgyzstan’s ambassador to Turkey was elected as a new secretary-general. Observer status was granted to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, a part of the island of Cyprus which lacks international recognition.

Speaking of international recognition, the Kazakh President called to uphold the territorial integrity of all states, sneaking in a jab towards the Kremlin and their illegal invasion of Ukraine.

There were also bilateral meetings between summit participants, including between Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. A meeting between the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and, Uzbekistan focused on economic cooperation between the Central Asian states.

OTS’s 2022-2026 Strategy includes cooperation on transport between the member states, the establishment of simplified customs corridors and trade strategies agreements.

In a speech at the summit, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated that “some 40 million Azerbaijanis outside the country are deprived of the opportunity to study in their mother tongue.” The statement was interpreted as an attack on Iran, where the northwestern part of the country is home to an Azeri community more numerous than that of Azerbaijan itself.

The summit was the first meeting that took place during such a volatile international situation. The Turkic states of Central Asia are consistently moving away from the influence of Russia, moving towards Turkey instead.

Eastern Express’ guest

Bruce Pannier, Central Asian expert over at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, was invited by TVP World to shed more light on the issue.

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