Azerbaijan, NATO discuss ties, military-political situation in region [PHOTO]
Azerbaijani Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov and NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia Javier Colomina have met to discuss prospects for the development of bilateral relations and the regional military and political situation.
At a meeting held in Baku on April 29, Hasanov spoke about the positive results achieved in the field of cooperation with NATO. He emphasized the importance of further developing relations between the sides.
Furthermore, the delegation was informed on the reforms carried out in the Azerbaijan army in line with President Ilham Aliyev's instructions, as well as the work done in the liberated territories and the current situation on the Azerbaijan-Armenian state border.
Expressing gratitude for the warm welcome, Colomina highly appreciated the close cooperation of the Azerbaijani and Turkish armed forces.
He underlined this cooperation's significant contribution to Azerbaijan-NATO relations.
The two officials also discussed other issues of mutual interest.
Earlier, the visiting NATO official met President Ilham Aliyev. Furthermore, Colomina was received by Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov.
Colomina arrived in Azerbaijan on April 28. In his capacity as NATO secretary-general's special representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, he is making his second trip to the South Caucasus.
This visit is part of regular consultations between NATO officials and representatives from Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Armenia, and is an important format for taking stock of NATO relations with partners and exchanging views on future political dialogue and cooperation, particularly in light of ongoing preparations for the 2022 NATO Summit in Madrid.
The NATO official earlier visited Armenia and Georgia, where he had met with top Armenian officials, Georgian officials, MPs, representatives of international organizations, and civil society.
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.
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