Azerbaijan can be model for Afghanistan

By Sara Rajabova

Azerbaijan sees existing needs of Afghanistan and can be a model for this country.

Elmar Mammadyarov, Azerbaijan’s Foreign Minister made the remark while addressing NATO RS Ministerial in Brussels on December 2.

“Just yesterday President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai and Chief Executive Officer of Afghanistan Abdullah Abdullah were in Baku and had a very intensive and open exchange of views on future of Afghanistan with President Aliyev and members of Azerbaijan’s Cabinet,” Mammadyarov said.

President Ghani paid a working visit to Azerbaijan on December 1 and discussed with President Ilham Aliyev development of bilateral cooperation between the two countries in various fields. President Aliyev said there are ample opportunities for economic cooperation, the trade turnover is increasing, and there are good dynamics in this field.

Mammadyarov noted that Afghan Government has huge agenda of reforms. “It is not only security. Of course, security is first pillar for sustainability. A lot of investments must be involved into industry and infrastructure,” he said.

Azerbaijan’s foreign policy head also stressed that despite Azerbaijan faced war, it managed to overcome the challenges and achieve progress. “My country faced war 20 years ago, but we were able to pass through all these challenges and achieved big progress. Therefore, Azerbaijan sees existing needs of the country and can be a model for Afghanistan,” Mammadyarov said.

He went on to say that Azerbaijan assists Afghanistan in many areas, including education and training for the development of human capital.

“Railroad connection is very important for Afghanistan. Currently there is only one available railroad connection in the country. Railroad project connecting Afghanistan with Europe passing through Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey is an important element for sustainable development of the country,” Mammadyarov said.

On the other hand, extensive training programs are conducted for Afghanistan's law-enforcement and government officials at different academies in Azerbaijan. A total of three million euros has been transferred into the Fund of Trustees of Afghanistan's National Army, while one million euros was spent on strengthening operations.

Mammadyarov further noted that launching Resolute Support Mission is important for future of Afghanistan. “Azerbaijan will play its part in this mission by providing significant contribution in terms of troops, training, financial assistance, and transit,” he said.

Developments in our part of the world have shown that international community’s support to Afghanistan should continue in the coming years to bring more and more success, Mammadyarov said

The diplomatic relations between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan were established on November 16, 1994. Azerbaijani ambassador to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is concurrently accredited to Afghanistan. The embassy of Afghanistan to Azerbaijan was opened in November, 2012.