Более ста лет назад сэр Халфорд Макиндер (Halford Mackinder) произнес знаменитые слова о том, что территории к востоку и северу от Каспийского моря могут стать "географической осью истории", выдвигая свою геополитическую теорию о евразийском "центре мира". Этот термин сейчас в равной мере применим и к Азербайджану, учитывая его роль на южном Кавказе. И вызвано это не только тем, что он обеспечивает самый надежный и самый эффективный транзит каспийских энергоресурсов на запад в Европу и за ее пределы.
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Over 100 years ago, Sir Halford Mackinder famously identified territories to the east and north of the Caspian Sea as the "geographical pivot of history" in his Heartland Theory of geopolitics. Much of that territory corresponds to modern-day Uzbekistan, whose importance was rediscovered in the wake of the disintegration of the multinational Soviet state. The term could now equally apply to Azerbaijan's role in the South Caucasus, and not only because it provides the most secure and efficient transit of Caspian Sea energy resources westward to Europe and beyond.
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The European Union (EU) and Turkey have resolved two major differences that were preventing agreement on the terms for the Nabucco natural gas pipeline, and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul is reported to have promised that a signing ceremony will take place on June 25 in Ankara.
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The UPA's positive showing against the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), based around the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), banished for the moment fears that the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) elections would produce an unstable if not internally fractious government and increased the prospect of successful legislation for economic reforms. Congress alone increased its representation from 165 to 205 seats, and with its allies inside the UPA will have 262 members of parliament, or nearly half of the 545 seats.
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The turn for the better in Taiwan's dealings with mainland China, resulting in improved access for businessmen and tourists across the Taiwan Strait and eased investment rules, could hardly have come at a better time for the island as its export-dependent economy reels from the global downturn. Stimulus efforts by the governments in both Beijing and Taipei are also helping to lift the prospects for economic growth after a dismal few quarters.
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