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Azerbaijan, NATO mull regional security, cooperation

19 October 2021 [15:00] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Vugar Khalilov

Azerbaijan's senior officials have discussed regional security and cooperation with NATO's Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Javier Colomina Piriz as a part of his visit to Azerbaijan on October 18.

Defence cooperation

A meeting between Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov and Javier Colomina Piriz focused on Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation, the ministry reported on October 18.

Hasanov hailed the current state of Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation and noted the positive results achieved in this sphere. He stressed the importance of developing mutual relations further.

The minister spoke about the Azerbaijan army's operations on the liberated territories after the victory over Armenia in the 44-day war in 2020. He briefed the NATO official about the current situation on the Azerbaijani-Armenian border.

In turn, Piriz mentioned NATO’s readiness to provide relevant support to ensure peace in the region.

The two men touched on the post-war situation and discussed other issues of mutual interest.

Azerbaijan-NATO partnership

Azerbaijan-NATO partnership and cooperation topped the agenda of the meeting between Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and Javier Colomina Piriz, the Foreign Ministry reported on October 18.

Bayramov mentioned Azerbaijan’s role in peacekeeping operations and stressed that Azerbaijan and NATO share the same values in ensuring international security. He described Azerbaijan as a reliable NATO partner.

The minister stressed that Azerbaijan highly appreciates joint statements adopted at NATO summits on the settlement of the former Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, which support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of partner countries.

Bayramov briefed the guest on the latest regional situation, including the policy pursued by Armenia for decades to destroy Azerbaijan’s historical, cultural and religious heritage, as well as illegal activities and their consequences in the country’s liberated territories.

He provided detailed information on the reconstruction launched by Azerbaijan in Karabakh and steps to demine the liberated lands and implement trilateral statements signed by Armenia, Azerbaijan and Russia in November 2020.

Bayramov stressed that Azerbaijan is ready to normalize relations with Armenia under international law principles by eliminating the factor of occupation of Azerbaijani territories.

In turn, Piriz described his discussions with Azerbaijan during the regional visit as very useful in terms of obtaining detailed information on the current regional situation.

He highlighted the Azerbaijani peacekeepers' activities along with Turkish forces in Afghanistan, especially their operations to evacuate citizens from the Kabul airport. The special envoy expressed gratitude on behalf of the Allies. He noted that NATO supports the normalization of Armenian-Azerbaijani relations.

The sides also exchanged views on the NATO-Azerbaijan partnership agenda, as well as future prospects.

The country's relations with NATO started in 1992 when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. This forum for dialogue was succeeded in 1997 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.

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.

NATO and Azerbaijan started work on a jointly agreed Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) in 2008 to integrate NATO standards into the teaching methodologies and curricula of the country’s Professional Military Education (PME) institutions.

In 2018, Azerbaijan asked NATO to also involve the Military High School, a pre-commissioning school, in DEEP.

Cooperative activities, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed upon.


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