Defence chief: Azerbaijan, Turkey to hold more joint drills
By Vafa Ismayilova
Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov has said that it is planned to increase the number of the Turkish-Azerbaijani joint drills, the Defence Ministry reported on July 14.
Hasanov made the remarks at a meeting with newly-appointed Turkish ambassador Cahit Bagci in Baku on July 14.
He said that the reforms to bring the Azerbaijan army in line with the standards of the Turkish armed forces are being carried out under Commander-in-Chief President Ilham Aliyev's instructions.
Hasanov said that it is planned to "increase the number of joint military exercises with the involvement of various types of troops, including the Special Forces of the armies of both countries".
He highly appreciated the level of Azerbaijani-Turkish cooperation in the military, military-technical, military educational, and military medical spheres and thanked Turkey for support in training the Azerbaijani servicemen and clearing the liberated territories of mines and unexploded ordnance.
The minister wished Bagci success in strengthening the Azerbaijan-Turkey alliance and expanding cooperation.
In turn, the Turkish ambassador pledged to make every effort for the development of Azerbaijani-Turkish relations, particularly military cooperation.
Military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey first emerged in 1992, with an agreement signed between the Azerbaijani and Turkish governments on military education and weapon equipment and deals to help strengthen the bond between the two nations.
On June 15, the two countries signed a memorandum of alliance that cemented the existing military, political and economic cooperation.
The Shusha Declaration on Allied Relations that President Ilham Aliyev and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed during the first official visit to Shusha eight months after Azerbaijan’s victory in the war with Armenia, also focuses on defence cooperation.
It affirms joint efforts by the two armies in the face of foreign threats. The declaration also pledges joint efforts for the restructuring and modernization of the armed forces. Moreover, the two nations affirm to encourage the execution of joint projects with the aim of developing capabilities in the field of sea, air, and space.
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