President Erdogan's visit to Fuzuli has symbolic, strategic and practical reason: Matthew Bryza - EXCLUSIVE

President Erdogan's visit to Fuzuli today in Azerbaijan is important for three reasons: symbolic, strategic, and practical, Matthew Bryza, former U.S. ambassador to Azerbaijan and former OSCE Minsk Group co-chair, told News.Az.

"Azerbaijan has enforced for UN Security Council Resolutions that were never enforced and instead itself has brought Armenia back to compliance with international law no matter how much Armenia might have resisted that. So the visit of President Erdogan to Fuzuli to open an international airport is a sign to the world that Azerbaijan has changed and its territorial integrity is restored and Azerbaijan is ready now to build a transportation hub in Fuzuli to help the entire region of South Caucasus - Georgia, Turkey, and Armenia to reintegrate," he said.

"From a strategic perspective, President Erdogan's visit is also a sign of how close Turkey and Azerbaijan relations are. These relations have been close for decades, there is the slogan "one nation - two states".  Now after not only the 44-day war but beginning in August 2020 when there were clashes along Armenia-Azerbaijan's international border Turkey made it clear that it is going to support Azerbaijan mentally. And that was codified in Shusha Declaration signed in June during Erdogan's last visit to Azerbaijan. So strategically, the visit is a sign that Turkey and Azerbaijan are advancing their collaboration in many spheres, including technological, economic, trade, etc.," the former diplomat added.

"From a practical point, Erdogan's visit is important because it shows that the international airport in Fuzuli can be used to attract friends, businessmen, the leaders to rebuild the lands of Azerbaijan and make it smoother for investment to take place. And investment in industrial organized zones stretching from the Caspian Sea all the way to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean means much for Azerbaijan, Turkey and also for Armenia and Georgia. Fuzuli is located in an important strategic place on the map and it will be used in a pragmatic way to attract investment to that needed to restore prosperity and establish long-term stability in liberated lands," Bryza concluded.


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