Azerbaijan to expand representation in NATO
By Sara Rajabova
Azerbaijan plans to increase the number of its officers serving in the NATO in summer.
The news was announced by the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry on March 25.
Currently, seven officers of Azerbaijani Armed Forces serve in several NATO headquarters.
Also, the participation of about 900 soldiers in events held in the framework of the NATO Individual Partnership was considered in 2014.
Eighty one of these events are scheduled to take place in foreign countries, while nine will take place in Azerbaijan.
Last year, over a thousand Azerbaijani soldiers took part in 100 events under this program.
During the events, defense strategy issues, military training, logistics, international humanitarian law, budget and resource management, and other issues were in focus.
Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation within IPAP
Azerbaijan has also prepared and submitted a bill on the fourth stage of the program IPAP (Individual Partnership Action Plan with NATO), which covers 2014-2015 to the NATO for approval.
Meetings were held within the framework of the IPAP and the Planning and Review Process (PAP) in Baku and Brussels on the analysis of tasks and actions of the partnership in the 28 +1 format with the international headquarters of the NATO, the Defense Ministry told Trend Agency.
Twenty eight of the 42 Partnership Goals adopted by Azerbaijan within the PAP refer to the Armed Forces (General-18, Land Forces-5, Navy-1 and Air Force-4). The country has already completed some of the Goals, and relevant work on the implementation of the other long-term objectives of the partnership is underway.
The peacekeeping forces, platoon for search and rescue operations, medical platoon, Engineer-Sapper Platoon, and a helicopter group have been detached for participation in peacekeeping operations conducted by the NATO in the framework of the PAP document.
The Defense Ministry has successfully implemented the first three stages of the IPAP, which covers 2005-2007, 2008-2010, and 2011-2013. The Military Doctrine was adopted in 2010 and Strategy for Maritime Security was adopted in 2013 in accordance with the commitments under the IPAP.
The NATO and Azerbaijan are actively cooperating on democratic, institutional, and military reforms, and enjoy practical cooperation in various areas. The cooperation plan between Azerbaijan and the NATO is set out in the IPAP on Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan aspires to achieve Euro-Atlantic standards and get closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions. In this regard, supporting reform in the security sector and establishing democratic institutions are the key elements of the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation.
The Azerbaijani peacekeeping contingent in Afghanistan doubled in 2009. Currently, some 90 Azerbaijani servicemen are serving in ISAF. A company and then a battalion of peacekeepers were established as part of the Azerbaijani armed forces in 1997.
In the past, Azerbaijan has also actively supported the NATO's operations in Kosovo.
Azerbaijan boost military cooperation
Azerbaijan is holding discussions on signing memorandums and agreements that constitute the legal framework in the military sphere with 26 more countries.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry seeks to further develop and expand bilateral and multilateral cooperation with international organizations and foreign countries in the military sphere.
Azerbaijan is currently enjoyingbilateral military cooperation with Turkey, U.S., Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Pakistan, China, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Poland, Israel, Romania, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Georgia , Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, Qatar, Belgium, France, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland, Korea, etc.
During the current year, an average of 300-400 different language courses and specialization, workshops, seminars, conferences, study tours, staff talks, consultations, and other activities are held within the framework of bilateral military cooperation, in which some 1,500 servicemen of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces participate.