TODAY.AZ / Politics

Azerbaijan, NATO discuss cooperation

20 January 2023 [15:47] - TODAY.AZ
By Sabina Mammadli

Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov and NATO Secretary-General for the Caucasus and Central Asia Javier Colomina discussed major issues on the current agenda of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO, Azernews reports.

Noting that constant political dialogue between Azerbaijan and NATO promotes cooperation in various fields, Bayramov stressed that Azerbaijan's participation in NATO-led peacekeeping operations is the embodiment of the importance that the country attaches to cooperation in this area.

Further, the Azerbaijani official informed his interlocutor about the course of the process of normalization of relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the steps taken by Azerbaijan towards advancing the peace agenda, the military-political provocations of Armenia that undermine the peace process, and the still existing mine threat. Refuting the information about the alleged `blockade' of the Lachin road and reports about the `humanitarian crisis', Bayramov stated that the accusations are groundless and do not reflect reality, and are aimed at hiding the facts of Armenia's misuse of the Lachin-Khankandi road, which is intended for humanitarian purposes only.

He then added that despite the unconstructive steps of Armenia, Azerbaijan is ready to hold the next tals in a short time and is determined to advance the peace agenda.

In turn, Colomina stressed the importance of mutual visits to the development of cooperation, noting with satisfaction the participation of Azerbaijan in peacekeeping operations within NATO. He stressed that Azerbaijani peacekeepers played an important role in the evacuation at the Kabul International Airport. The official expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO in the development of other areas, including energy security, education, etc.

He also noted that the tension in the region is of concern, and the importance of continuing the process of normalizing relations between Azerbaijan and Armenia for the establishment of peace and security was emphasized.

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) program 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 Defense 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.


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