25 November 2017

Another panel held as part of Global Baku Forum

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One more panel titled “Iran and Afghanistan: Keys to regional Caspian and Central Asian security and prosperity. What’s next?” took place Friday as part of the 4th Global Baku Forum.

The panel’s moderator, former Italian Prime Minister Franco Frattini, said Iran has huge influence on Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria, adding that Iran is solidifying its regional position in order for the embargo to be lifted.

“When we look at relations between countries in the region, Saudi Arabia is skeptical of Iran. If the embargo was lifted, would it reduce the tension between the Sunni and Shiite countries? The elections in the Iran will encourage President Hassan Rouhani to fulfill the agreements,” he said.

The former deputy prime minister of Georgia, Eka Tkeshelashvili, warned that ISIL is growing in influence in Afghanistan, noting that regional cooperation is of huge importance to Afghanistan.

“A number of products can be delivered to Afghanistan through joined projects carried out by Azerbaijan and Georgia. Uzbekistan may join the process too. Investment-trade interests will be priorities in this cooperation. Different countries now need to think about common interests of regional countries, not just national interests. Georgia’s partnership with Azerbaijan is very important. Georgia-Azerbaijan-Turkey joint projects will in the future result in positive changes around the Caspian Sea,” she said.

Former Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora noted the importance of religious reforms in Middle East countries.

“Use of force alone is not going to solve the problems, we need to deal with underlying issues,” he said.

Former Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz said he does not approve of Iran’s seclusion, noting that his country has built relations with Iran more easily than with other neighbors. According to Shaukat Aziz, there is huge potential for Afghanistan to develop.

“Out of necessity, people grow narcotic plants out there because they have to engage in some activity. The challenge is, actions have to be taken for their narcotic plantations to be made agricultural plantations. This country has a bright future,” said Shaukat Aziz.

2016.03.11 / 12:00
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