Today.Az » Politics » NATO Secretary General: Azerbaijan is reliable partner of alliance
29 November 2018 [15:44] - Today.Az
By Abdul Kerimkhanov
Azerbaijan is a reliable partner of NATO, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said at a meeting with head of Azerbaijan’s Mission to NATO Gaya Mammadov, said the Azerbaijani mission in a message on November 29.
Mammadov handed over his credentials to the NATO Secretary General.
At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on the current state and future prospects of relations between Azerbaijan and NATO, regional security issues.
Mammadov noted that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to participation in the Partnership for Peace program, and stressed that the country will continue joint efforts with NATO to restore peace and stability in Afghanistan.
He informed about the settlement process of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and stressed that the support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Azerbaijan, expressed in the final declaration of the NATO Brussels Summit, and the position of the Alliance calling for solving the conflict based on these principles are welcome.
In turn, Stoltenberg asked to convey his greetings to the president of Azerbaijan. He expressed satisfaction with the current level of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO, and also thanked for the contribution made by the Azerbaijani side to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and the Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund.
The history of Azerbaijan-NATO relationship dates back to March 1992 when Azerbaijan together with some Central and Eastern European countries, joined a newly established consultative forum – the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (NACC), which was transformed into the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council later in 1997.
Bilateral cooperation began when Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994. Thanks to regular participation in PfP activities, Azerbaijan has been able to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations.
Azerbaijan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1997 has allowed NATO and individual Allies to assist Azerbaijan in developing selected units to improve interoperability with those of the Allies.
Within and alongside the PARP process, Azerbaijan develops units in accordance with NATO standards, organises force contributions for NATO-led peace-support operations abroad, and prepares a range of other capabilities for potential future missions in which Azerbaijan may decide to participate.
Azerbaijan actively supported the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from 2002 to the end of the NATO-led operation in 2014. The country currently supports the follow-on Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces. Azerbaijan also contributes to NATO’s Afghan National Army Trust Fund.
Azerbaijan has a long-standing interest in the protection of critical energy infrastructure, including against terrorist attacks, and the Ministry of National Security has worked with elements of NATO to establish an International Anti-Terrorism Training Centre. NATO keeps in the focus the issue of security of the oil and gas pipelines in the South Caucasus region that pass through the territory of Azerbaijan.
Cooperative activities, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed for a two-year period. NATO and Azerbaijan actively cooperate on democratic, institutional, and military reforms and other areas.