By Akbar Mammadov
President Ilham Aliyev has said that the Sea Cup competition being held in Baku as part of the annual Russian military sports event Army Games, will serve to strengthen cooperation between the participating countries.
Aliyev made the remarks on August 25, while receiving the delegation headed by the Russian Minister Sergei Shoigu who are visiting Baku to attend the opening ceremony of Sea Cup international contest.
“As you know, Azerbaijan traditionally participates in the Army Games and traditionally hosts the Sea Cup competition. I think that these competitions will continue to serve to strengthen cooperation between all countries that participate in them,” Aliyev said.
Noting that the Army Games are initiated by Russia and the main competitions are also held in Russia, the president said that the Azerbaijani tank troops take part in the tank biathlon. He also added that this competition is a good opportunity to meet and exchange views on issues related to the prospects for the cooperation in the military sphere, which is part of the very broad agenda of the interstate relations.
The president recalled that Shoigu last visited Azerbaijan in 2019 when Baku was hosting a meeting of the CIS Council of Defense Ministers.
“So, the dialogue is ongoing, and I am glad that you are visiting us again,” the president said.
Aliev also said that he recently had a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin, during which they discussed issues related to regional security and regional problems.
The president reminded that Foreign Minister Ceyhun Bayramov would visit Moscow on August 26, expressing confidence that the meeting between the two countries’ foreign ministers would be useful. The president pointed out that the ministers will discuss the current dynamics of relations, as well as the prospects for the development of relations.
In turn, Russian defence minister said that a visit to Azerbaijan is always a good opportunity to exchange views, discuss regional security issues and, of course, the military and military-technical cooperation between the two countries.
“Here we have something to report to our presidents on, there is something to discuss,” Shoigu said.
He noted that unfortunately, the pandemic that is spreading around the world leaves its mark on the cooperation plans between the two countries. “But I am sure that together with my colleague, the Minister of Defense of Azerbaijan, we will discuss how we can make up for lost time due to this pandemic and enter the schedule we have achieved to date,” Shoigu said.
Noting that the Azerbaijani team joined the competition on August 24, the Russian Defence Minister said that Azerbaijan’s tank biathlon team didn’t start badly.
“In other competitions, the Azerbaijani team is also doing quite well. I wish you every success. Of course, the coverage of these events in the world and the exhibition that is taking place is quite broad. And I should note here that what we are showing at the exhibition is perhaps the most modern weaponry in Russia today,” he added.
“We cannot but rejoice in the fact that both Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani team traditionally host competitions in the Caspian Sea. They are always held at a high level because there is both traditional hospitality and the organization of all these competitions, of course, is at the highest level,” Shoigu said. He recalled that previously, competitions were held in 10 countries, but the pandemic, unfortunately, narrowed them down to five.
“Fortunately, though, Azerbaijan remained in this five,” the minister noted.
It should be noted that Sergei Shoigu and his Azerbaijani counterpart Zakir Hasanov attended the opening ceremony of Sea Cup competition on August 25. The annual Army Games this year will be held in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Russia and Uzbekistan.
Iran, India, Kazakhstan, Sri-Lanka, China and Mongolia participated in the competition in previous years.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz