Azerbaijan, NATO mull cooperation [PHOTO]
By Vugar Khalilov
Deputy Defence Minister Karim Valiyev and NATO Cooperative Security Division of the International Military Staff Director Francesco Diella have discussed cooperation within the Operational Capabilities Concept (OCC), the Defence Ministry reported on October 25.
Valiyev appreciated NATO’s contribution to the training of the Azerbaijani army units, the report added.
He noted the Azerbaijani army's improving combat readiness following its victory in the 44-day war between Armenia and Azerbaijan in late 2020.
Diella highly appreciated Azerbaijan’s activities in all areas within the framework of partnership with NATO, including participation in peacekeeping operations.
The two officials also focused on the future development of cooperation with NATO in various fields.
The NATO delegation was received by Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov on October 25. The post-war regional situation was discussed at the meeting between Hasanov and Diella.
The country's relations with NATO started in 1992 when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. This forum for dialogue was succeeded in 1997 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which brings together all allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area.
Bilateral cooperation began when Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994. Thanks to regular participation in PfP activities, Azerbaijan has been able to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations.
Azerbaijan’s participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) since 1997 has allowed NATO and individual Allies to assist Azerbaijan in developing selected units to improve interoperability with those of the Allies.
NATO and Azerbaijan started work on a jointly agreed Defence Education Enhancement Programme (DEEP) in 2008 to integrate NATO standards into the teaching methodologies and curricula of the country’s Professional Military Education (PME) institutions.
In 2018, Azerbaijan asked NATO to also involve the Military High School, a pre-commissioning school, in DEEP.
Cooperative activities, reform plans and political dialogue processes are detailed in Azerbaijan’s Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is jointly agreed upon.
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