By Vugar Khalilov
The Azerbaijani-Turkish joint tactical drills have kicked off in Lachin region liberated from Armenia's occupation in the last year's 44-day war, the Defence Ministry reported on September 6.
The combat tactical exercises are being held under a military cooperation agreement between the two countries.
The joint drills are aimed at improving interaction and combat coordination between the servicemen during operations, as well as to develop commanders' military decision-making and unit management skills.
During the drills, special attention has been paid to improving servicemen's skills to use modern combat and other military equipment in difficult terrain, the ministry added.
It should be noted that the Azerbaijani-Turkish joint military drills are held on Azerbaijan's liberated lands for the first time.
Along with Russia, Turkey is represented with an equal number of servicemen in the joint centre to monitor the situation in and around Nagorno-Karabakh under a trilateral peace agreement signed by Azerbaijan, Russia and Armenia on November 10, 2020, to end the war in Nagorno-Karabakh.
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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