Azerbaijani, Turkish top defence officials eye military co-op [PHOTO]
By Ayya Lmahamad
Top Azerbaijani and Turkish defence officials have discussed bilateral military cooperation in different spheres in the Turkish capital Ankara, the Defence Ministry reported on September 13.
As part of his official visit to Turkey, Azerbaijani Army General Staff Chief Lt-Gen Karim Valiyev met Turkish National Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and his Turkish counterpart Yashar Guler on September 12.
The parties discussed the development of cooperation in military, military-technical, military-educational, engineering and other fields.
They noted the successful development of cooperation between the two countries' armies based on friendly and fraternal relations.
Azerbaijani and Turkish servicemen have been recently holding joint international military drills in various formats.
During the 44-day war with Armenia in 2020, Turkey was among the first countries voicing political support for Azerbaijan. Turkey also backs Azerbaijan in the restoration of the country's liberated territories.
On June 15, 2021, Azerbaijan and Turkey 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.
Apart from the military sphere, Azerbaijan and Turkey cooperate in various fields of economy and have jointly completed giant energy and infrastructure projects such as Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Kars and TANAP.
Eleven agreements were signed between the two countries within the Azerbaijani-Turkish business forum held in Ankara on February 18. The agreements envisage the development of the Azerbaijani-Turkish cooperation in the economic, trade, and other spheres.
The two countries set up a goal to bring the mutual trade turnover to $15 billion in 2023. It should be noted that so far, Turkey is Azerbaijan’s second-largest investor followed by the UK.
In the first seven months of 2021, the trade turnover between Azerbaijan and Turkey amounted to $2.5 billion. The trade turnover between the two countries amounted to $4.1 billion in 2020.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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