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Azerbaijan, Italy mull military co-op, regional security [PHOTO]

18 November 2021 13:07 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan, Italy mull military co-op, regional security [PHOTO]

By Ayya Lmahamad

The Azerbaijani Defence Ministry and the Italian General Staff delegations have held discussions on the bilateral cooperation plan at the ministry's International Military Cooperation Directorate, the ministry reported on November 17.

During the meeting, the parties focused on the current state and prospects of cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Italian armies and regional security.

Additionally, the sides identified the fields and activities of bilateral cooperation for the coming years.

Azerbaijan and Italy have mutual cooperation in different fields, such as economy, military, oil and gas, communications, and others.

During Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev's visit to Italy in February 2020, Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov and Italian Leonardo company's executive general Alessandro Profumo signed an agreement on the acquisition of M-346 master combat training aircraft, which is used in many countries to train pilots. It was also stated that military cooperation between the two countries will also include ground-based training aids.

At the same time, Azerbaijan is one of Italy’s main energy resources suppliers.

Over 100 Italian companies, operating in various fields, are registered in Azerbaijan. In addition, Italian companies have contracts worth over € 10 bn ($11.8bn) for Azerbaijani projects both outside and inside the country.

Azerbaijan’s overall investment in Italy’s economy is estimated at 1.7 billion euros ($2bn), while Italy invested about 770 million euros ($910.8M) in Azerbaijan.

Moreover, Azerbaijan accounts for more than 90 percent of Italy’s total trade with the South Caucasus countries. Azerbaijan is the main destination of Italian exports to the South Caucasus region, with a 7 percent increase in 2020 as well.

Additionally, Italy was one of the first countries that voiced its support for Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and later on interest in participation in restoration works carried out in Azerbaijan's liberated territories. Thus, Italy and Israel have already started the implementation of a joint project to turn the liberated Zangilan region into a smart city.

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Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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