Sher Ahmadzai: Azerbaijan could pave the way for the connection between Afghanistan and Turkey and Eastern Europe - EXCLUSİVE VİDEO
26 May 2021
S her Jan Ahmadzai, Director Center for Afghanistan Studies, University of Nebraska Omaha gave an exclusive interview to Baku Tribune. He worked in the Afghan government from 2002 to 2007 in different capacities. His last position was as scheduling manager for then-President Hamid Karzai.
Below we are presenting to our readers both full video of an interview and some important passages and statements from the interview of Sher Ahmadzai. - The US is considering the possibility of deploying troops withdrawn from Afghanistan in the countries of Central Asia, in particular - Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Is this possible, in your opinion? Can Americans return to Central Asia?
- The US don't have any military bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. It has it in Afghanistan. They're departing, withdrawing all military forces from Afghanistan. But they might have presence in the region in different shape. However, I don't see any prospects of US coming into region as they did it in 2001. Because the conditions in 2001 and now are so different...
- Why are the Americans so keen to place their military bases in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan?
-I don't think the US is really keen to have a strong presence or military bases in Uzbekistan or Tajikistan. They already have a very robust relation with Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. It used to have base in Kyrgyzstan - Manas. A small base in Uzbekistan. But there is no longer any military base in Uzbekistan or Central Asian countries...
- According to the Wall Street Journal, the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan may be completed ahead of schedule by July. What forces can take the place of the Americans, in your opinion?
- There is no other military power to fill in. Neither China, no Russia, or any other regional country has power or political will to come and fill in that gap. Because it is so expensive. I believe that the US will continue working with Afghan national military and security forces...
- Afghanistan is interested in expanding economic and political cooperation with Azerbaijan. Do you think Baku and Kabul can try to revive the "Lapis Lazuli" commodity transport project after the pandemic? Will this project be economically viable?
I think it is absolutely economically viable. Azerbaijan could pave the way for the connection between Afghanistan and Turkey and Eastern Europe. It is very much viable. It takes two weeks for transport from Afghanistan to Turkey. I think "Lapis Lazuli" corridor should benefit the countries of the region. There is the potential. I think what should be done it is the investment into infrastructure, better facility, equipment in goods. From Afghanistan through Azerbaijan into Eastern Europe.
İn think what should be done it is the investment into infrastructure, better facility, equipment. From Afghanistan through Azerbaijan into Eastern Europe.
- As you know, the Second Karabakh War ended with the victory of Azerbaijan. The Azerbaijani side returned most of its lands. At present, official Baku is interested in concluding a peace agreement with Armenia, but Yerevan is still opposed. Do you think the signing of a peace agreement is necessary for Armenia?
- Absolutely. Azerbaijan and Armenia have had war in the past. Settlement has to satisfy both of the nations. If both countries are not able to come to conclusion the region powers especially Russia can play a huge role in bringing together both players. And also Turkey in bringing both players to peace settlement...
Watch the full interview on our Youtube Channel Seymur Mammadov
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