A rare July summit between the leaders of Azerbaijan and Iraqi Kurdistan has drawn attention to their growing relations. Baku and Erbil will likely aim to strengthen their energy and security ties. But the relationship is driven mainly by international and regional dynamics. Turkey has been a catalyst for engagement, while shared concern over Iran has also pushed Azerbaijan and the Kurdistan region of Iraq closer to each other.
Kurdistan region President Nechirvan Barzani was hosted by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku on July 18. The two stressed the need to develop ties, including in the economic, energy, tourism, and trade sectors.
The meeting stood out as the highest-level official bilateral visit in recent history. The trip notably followed a series of other diplomatic initiatives this year which have involved the two leaders.
In February, Aliyev met with Barzani in Germany on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference. At the session, the Azerbaijani president noted that Baku and Erbil could create mechanisms of...
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