Azerbaijan's Far Eastern orientation and South Korea
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This paper focuses on Azerbaijan's outreach toward East Asian countries and its relationship with South Korea. Despite their geographical distance from Azerbaijan, countries in the Far East, especially China, Japan, and South Korea, have demonstrated an interest in engagement and explored potential avenues of cooperation. Azerbaijan established support for its political priorities and for its stance on the Karabakh issue as prerequisites and confidence-building measures for potential investors. East Asian states easily fulfilled these two criteria, due to their geographical and ideological distance from the political dynamics of the Caucasus. South Korea showed a genuine concern for Azerbaijan's national interests and problems and played a key role in its economic development. While South Korea was a latecomer, mutual political trust and fruitful economic relations were quickly established. The Azeri administration has entrusted South Korean public and private investors with many significant current and future projects in the oil-and non-oil-related fields. This paper concludes that these projects are indicators of the central role that South Korea will play in Azerbaijan's future.