Azerbaijan, Georgia, Turkey: Foundations and Challenges of an Emergent Strategic Alliance

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

9:30 AM–12:15 PM

Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

Root Conference Room

1779 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.

Washington, D.C. 20036


*View full streaming video of the event by clicking here.




9:00 AM–9:30 AM
9:30 AM
Glen E. Howard
President, The Jamestown Foundation
Rovshan Ibrahimov
Head of the Foreign Policy Analysis Department, Center for Strategic Studies (SAM), Baku
*     *     *
Panel One:
Objectives and Prospects of Strategic Alliance

9:30 AM–10:45 AM
Moderator: S. Enders Wimbush
Executive Director for Strategy & Development, National Bureau of Asian Research
Elman Abdullayev
Spokesman, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan
“The Perspective from Azerbaijan”
Mamuka Tsereteli
Director for the Center for Black Sea-Caspian Studies, School of International Service at American University
“A Perspective from Georgia”
Nigar Göksel
Editor-in-Chief, Turkish Policy Quarterly
“Closing Ranks with its Strategic Partners: Turkey’s Evolving Perspective on the South Caucasus”
Q & A
 *     *     *
Coffee Break
10:45 AM–11:00 AM
 *     *     *
Panel Two:
Western Interests and the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey-Triangle

11:00 AM–12:15 PM
 Vladimir Socor
Senior Fellow, The Jamestown Foundation
“The European Union and the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey Gas Corridor
 Dr. Vusal Gasimli
Head of the Department of Economic Analysis and Global Affairs, SAM
“Azerbaijan is Transport, Logistics and Trade Hub in the Center of Eurasia” 
Dr. Rovshan Ibrahimov
Head of the Department of Foreign Policy Analysis, SAM
“Azerbaijan-Georgia-Turkey: Transport Hub Between Europe and Asia”
Michael Hikari Cecire
Black Sea-Eurasia Regional Analyst and Associate Scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute
“The Trilateral Entente: Bridge for Euro-Atlantic Aspirations?”
Moderator: Zaur Shiriyev
Editor-in-Chief, Caucasus International
Q & A
 *     *     *
12:15 PM
Elman Abdullayev
Elman Abdullayev is a spokesman and communications manager at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan. Previously he served as First Secretary of the Press Service at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During his diplomatic career, Mr. Abdullayev has held positions in Europe and the United States. He has been a Consul at the Consulate General of Azerbaijan in Los Angeles, CA, as well as an Attache at the Mission of Azerbaijan to the European Union.
Michael Hikari Cecire
Michael Hikari Cecire is a Black Sea-Eurasia regional analyst and an associate scholar at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, where he contributes to the Project on Democratic Transitions. He is also a founding member of the Georgian Institute of Politics in Tbilisi. 
Dr. Vusal Gasimli
Dr. Vusal Gasimli is Chief of the Department of Economic Analysis and Global Affairs at the Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan. Dr Gasimli graduated from Azerbaijan State Economic University and received his Masters in Economics in 1997. He also studied at postgraduate level at Azerbaijan State Agricultural Academy. He has a PhD in Economics and he received his MA in Journalism from the Georgian Institute of Public Affairs (based on the study program of Louisiana State University). He is a lecturer on Macroeconomics at Azerbaijan State Economic University. He was the President of ANS-PRESS Publishing House from 2005 to 2007, and was an expert in the European Union from 2009 to 2010. Dr Gasimli’s article “Currencymageddon: a foothold for international financial architecture” has been selected by G-Global communication platform as “the best article of G-Global platform.” He has delivered lectures in Washington University in Saint Louis, Warsaw University and Milan Catholic University. 
Nigar Göksel
Nigar Göksel has been Editor-in-Chief of Turkish Policy Quarterly (TPQ) for ten years. In parallel, between 2004 and 2010, she was Senior Analyst working on Turkey and the Caucasus at the European Stability Initiative (ESI)—where she currently works part time on Turkey-EU relations. Her writing focuses on Turkish foreign policy, EU neighborhood policies, democratization and gender rights. Nigar is a regular contributor to the German Marshall Fund “On Turkey” policy brief series and an alumni of the Black Sea Young Reformers Fellowship. Nigar has led a number of dialogue initiatives and reconciliation projects involving Turkey and the South Caucasus.  Previous to her current affiliations Nigar worked as Country Director for IREX (International Research and Exchanges Board), Project Manager at TESEV (Turkish Economic and Social Studies Foundation), and International Relations Coordinator at the ARI Movement. In the late 1990s she worked at the Azerbaijan Embassy in Washington, DC, and the US office of the Turkish Businessmen’s and Industrialists’ Association. 
Dr. Rovshan Ibrahimov
Rovshan Ibrahimov is the head of Foreign Policy Analysis Department at Center for Strategic Studies under the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the head of International Relations Department at Qafqaz University in Baku. He received his BA, MA, and PhD in political sciences at Ankara University. Dr. Ibrahimov has been working at Qafqaz University since 1999. He has served as Director for the Center of Energy Studies, Head of Regional Studies Department, and Vice-Rector on External Affairs. A known expert on energy policy and security, Azerbaijani foreign policy, and politics of the Southern Caucasus, Dr. Ibrahimov also serves as an affiliated scholar for a number of Turkish, Russian, and British think tanks. He also produces a TV program and writes columns on foreign policy. Dr. Ibrahimov is the author of more than one hundred professional articles and commentaries. 
Zaur Shiriyev
Zaur Shiriyev is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Caucasus International, a foreign policy journal that examines policy-making and the role of the Caucasus region in the international arena. He is a senior research fellow in the Foreign Policy Analysis Department at the Baku based think-tank Center for Strategic Studies (SAM), where he has worked since 2009.
He writes a weekly column for Today’s Zaman, one of the two main English language newspapers of Turkey. His areas of expertise include security issues and EU policy in the Black Sea region, conflict resolution in the post-Soviet space, Turkish foreign policy, and the foreign and national security policies of the South Caucasus states, with an emphasis on teh domestic determinants of such policies.
Mr. Shiriyev is the author of more than one hundred professional articles and commentaries. He is co-editor of the book, The Geopolitical Scene of the Caucasus: A Decade of Perspectives (Istanbul, 2013).
Vladimir Socor
Vladimir Socor is a Senior Fellow of the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation and its flagship publication, Eurasia Daily Monitor (1995 to present), where he writes analytical articles on a daily basis. An internationally recognized expert on former Soviet-ruled countries in Eastern Europe, the South Caucasus, and Central Asia, he covers Russian and Western policies there, focusing on energy policies, regional security issues, secessionist conflicts, and NATO policies and programs.
Mr. Socor is a frequent speaker at U.S. and European policy conferences and think-tank institutions. He is a regular guest lecturer at the NATO Defense College and at Harvard University’s National Security Program’s Black Sea Program (Kennedy School of Government). He is also a frequent contributor to edited volumes. Mr. Socor was previously an analyst with the Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Research Institute (1983–1994). He is a Romanian-born citizen of the United States based in Munich, Germany.
Mamuka Tsereteli
Dr. Mamuka Tsereteli is a Director for the Center for Black Sea-Caspian Studies at the School of International Service at American University. Dr. Tsereteli currently teaches classes on Energy and Security in Europe and Central Eurasia and International Economic Policy.  He was an assistant professor (2007–2011), and a member of the adjunct faculty (2002–2007) at AU. Dr. Tsereteli also served as a member of the part time faculty at Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in 2006–2007, where he taught class on Energy and National Security. 
Dr. Tsereteli previously served as an Executive Director for the America-Georgia Business Council, and Economic Counselor at the Embassy of Georgia in Washington, DC. Dr. Tsereteli is author of numerous policy papers and articles in professional and popular media.  His most recent publications include “Georgia as a Geographical Pivot: Past, Present, and Future,” “New Iran Sanctions and Their Impact on The Black Sea-Caspian Region,” “Connecting Caspian Gas to Europe,” as well as “Impact of Russian-Georgian War on the Caucasus Energy Corridor.
His areas of interests include international relations and international economic policy, economic and energy security, political and economic risk analysis and mitigation strategies, and business development in the Black Sea-Caspian region.
S. Enders Wimbush
Mr. Wimbush joined the National Bureau of Asian Research as Executive Director for Strategy & Development in 2013, following a long career in private, public and NGO sectors as a national security consultant, global manager and communications executive. From 2011 to 2012, he served as Senior Director, Foreign Policy and Civil Society, at the German Marshall Fund of the United States where he was responsible for GMF’s offices in Warsaw, Berlin, Paris, Bucharest, Belgrade and Ankara, in addition to managing GMF’s broad foreign policy portfolio in Washington, DC. Before joining the German Marshall Fund, Mr. Wimbush served as Senior Vice President of the Hudson Institute, Washington, DC.  He spent many years in the private sector with Booz Allen Hamilton and Science Applications International Corporation, directing analyses of future security environments for both government and corporate clients. Mr. Wimbush served as a member of the United States Broadcasting Board of Governors in 2010-2012, and in 1987–1993 as Director of Radio Liberty in Munich, Germany. He founded and directed the Society for Central Asian Studies in Oxford, England, during 1980–87, and served as senior analyst of Soviet affairs at the Rand Corporation (1976–80). He is the author, co-author or editor of seven books and numerous articles in professional and popular media, as well as dozens of policy studies. His ideas have appeared frequently in professional, policy and popular media, including the Wall Street Journal, Christian Science Monitor, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Journal of Commerce, National Interest, Survival, Global Affairs, The Weekly Standard, and others.