By Vafa Ismayilova
President Ilham Aliyev has said that Azerbaijan and Pakistan must expand military cooperation in the coming years and plan joint initiatives to strengthen bilateral partnership, Azertag reported on June 21.
He made the remarks at a meeting with visiting Pakistani Army Chief of Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa in Baku on June 21.
“I think that in the coming years we must expand our military cooperation and plan joint military exercises and other initiatives to strengthen our partnership,” he said.
The president praised the level of the Azerbaijani-Pakistani military cooperation.
“We demonstrate a very high level of partnership in the defence and defence industries. Your visit to our country is another indication of this. We are pleased to have access to Pakistan's defence industry products. As you know, we buy these products, which strengthens our military potential,” he said.
Aliyev expressed the hope that a senior Pakistani army official’s visit will be very fruitful and will further strengthen the close partnership between the countries.
The president underlined "the very successful development" of bilateral ties. He thanked Pakistan for its active support of Azerbaijan during the 44-day war with Armenia in autumn 2020.
“We are especially grateful for Pakistan's very active support for Azerbaijan in the Second Karabakh War. From the first days of the war, your country’s top leadership - the president and the prime minister - have expressed their full support for Azerbaijan in restoring our territorial integrity. This is a very important element of our cooperation and a real demonstration of our fraternal relations,” he stressed.
Aliyev noted that other high-ranking Pakistani officials, MPs, and public figures supported Azerbaijan during the war, which resulted in the Armenian army’s complete defeat and the restoration of Azerbaijan's territorial integrity.
The president underscored that Pakistan is one of the few countries that has not recognized Armenia and has not established any diplomatic relations with Armenia due to the occupation fact. He described this as another demonstration of fraternal ties between the countries.
Aliyev reiterated Azerbaijan’s support for Pakistan in the Kashmir issue.
“Our open position has been demonstrated many times. This position is based on our relations of justice, international law and brotherhood. We must support our brothers in all matters,” he added.
He noted that as the chairman of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), Azerbaijan actively defends international law and justice. Aliyev thanked the Pakistani president for his personal participation in the Baku summit and for supporting Azerbaijan’s initiatives within the NAM.
In turn, Pakistani Army Chief of Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa congratulated Azerbaijan on its victory in the war and described it as a great event for every Muslim and Pakistani. He touched on cooperation opportunities between Pakistan, Azerbaijan, and Turkey.
“Our closest relations in the world are with Turkey. The close ties between the three countries open up enormous opportunities for our cooperation. There are many opportunities for us to consider in Azerbaijan ...,” he said.
The meeting also focused on issues of cooperation in the transport, logistics, energy, and trade spheres.
The delegation led by General Qamar Javed Bajwa was also received by Azerbaijani Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov on June 21, the Defence Ministry reported.
At the meeting, the senior officials focused on Azerbaijani-Pakistani relations, strategic partnership and main areas of international military cooperation.
Hasanov noted that friendly relations between the two countries’ leaders play a significant role in the development of ties and stressed the importance of holding such meetings in terms of expanding mutual cooperation.
Bajwa stressed that Pakistani specialists are ready to get involved in the process of clearance of the liberated territories of mines and unexploded ordnance.
The Pakistani general also noted a wide potential for elevating the military cooperation of the two countries to a qualitatively new level.
At the meeting, the officials discussed prospects of development in the military, military-technical, military-educational, and other spheres. An agreement was reached on the joint use of mountain training centers, mountain training of military personnel, as well as conducting joint exercises.
Hasanov and Bajwa stressed that military relations meet the interests of both countries. They noted the need to increase efforts in this sphere. They also discussed the organization of mutual visits of servicemen to exchange experiences and a number of other issues.
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