STOCK Baku, Azerbaijan
Panoramic view of Baku - the capital of Azerbaijan. Image Credit: Shutterstock

Dubai: The COP28 climate summit in Dubai on Monday approved a proposal to hold the next iteration of the annual event in the central Asian republic of Azerbaijan.

The country won support of other Eastern European nations on Saturday after months of deadlock and after it reached agreement with neighbour and adversary Armenia that it would not veto the move.

This year's UN climate summit in the UAE was the biggest yet, with more than 110,000 delegates registered.

Two people close to the COP28 presidency said they expected Baku, Azerbaijan's capital city, to be confirmed as the host on Saturday following the meeting. Azerbaijan, which pumps over half a million barrels a day of oil, is a part of the OPEC+ coalition of producers.

If confirmed, it would mean that the conference of the 198 parties would be held in an autocratic fossil-fuel producing nations for the third year in a row.

Azerbaijan's bid was made possible following rare peace talks on Thursday with neighbouring Armenia after repeated wars over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh since the collapse of the Soviet Union more than three decades ago.

Elin Suleymanov, Azerbaijan Ambassador to the UK, said Baku has a record of hosting sporting events as well as the Eurovision song contest and would be able to accomodate the growing demands of COP. As many as 100,000 people were registered to attend this year's COP28 talks in Dubai making it the biggest ever.

"Azerjaiban was in the first place of the oil boom of the 20th Century," he said. "It was the beginning of the energy revolution and I think Azerbaijan could become a host of major events advancing the energy transition."

He also noted that last year Azerbaijan signed an agreement to build an electriicty cable under the Black Sea that would provide wind power to countries including Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.