By Nigar Orujova
More than one million citizens have become refugees and IDPs and 20 percent of Azerbaijani territory has been under occupation as a result of more than 20 year Armenian aggression. Considering this fact that Azerbaijan is in a state of war with Armenia, there is a need to strengthen the country's defense capabilities.
This statement came from Azerbaijan's Defense Industry Minister, Yaver Jamalov at a conference titled "The modern warfare methods and security challenges" held on September 12 as part of the ADEX 2014 - Azerbaijan International Defense Industry Exhibition.
He said the Ministry, established in 2005, is constantly expanding cooperation with foreign countries in the defense industry.
Jamalov noted that the Ministry has established cooperation in this area with the 34 countries of the world and expressed the hope that after the exhibition this number will increase.
The agency has been taking an extensive work in the field of reconstruction and creation of new enterprises, subordinated to the Ministry, he added.
"The volume of the products produced by the enterprises of the Ministry increased by 28 times in 2013 in comparison with 2005," he said.
The Ministry also prepared the current and long-term plans for the production of defense products, more than 1,700 instruments and devices purchased and installed.
He said that over the entire period of the Ministry's activities, 51 production facilities have been established at the subordinate factories.
The volume of export is steadily growing, small arms and artillery, unmanned aerial vehicles, armored vehicles are manufactured, Jamalov added.
At the ADEX exhibition, Azerbaijan is displaying 168 types of defense products. The Ministry has participated in 15 international exhibitions so far, he said.
Jamalov stressed that the international exhibition ADEX-2014 will establish peace and security in the region. The conference will be held once again in Azerbaijan in 2016.
Speaking at the conference, Azerbaijan's Deputy Minister of Defense Industry Yahya Musayev said that there is a negative side of purchasing of ammunition and military equipment from foreign countries.
The downside is that when buying ammunition and military equipment, the technology is not delivered completely. It is no secret that this leads to a one-sided dependence, he said adding that scientific research are conducted and specialists are trained to create the technology for national defense industry.
He said that the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict amounts to a good reason to stop arm sales to some regional countries.
Musayev noted the national defense industry has established cooperation with more than 30 countries and has acquired modern technology in a short time.
He added that Azerbaijan has created a commission in the sphere of military-technical cooperation with Turkey and other countries.
The purpose of the international exhibition of the defense industry products is to expand military-technical cooperation between countries, Musayev stressed.
For his turn, Undersecretary for Turkish Defense Industries Ismail Demir said Turkey always stands ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan at a high level for the sake of peace in the region.
He said that after the 'cold war', each country has been trying to create a military industry complex, producing modern weapons.
Turkey prepared plans to develop air forces, the navy and the land forces, and the country is manufacturing new defense products and developing the research field, Demir said.
"Turkey is closely cooperating with Azerbaijan and Georgia in the South Caucasus, which has led to the initiative of a collective security system," he said.
Turkey and Azerbaijan collaborate at the highest level. Turkey is always ready to cooperate with Azerbaijan at a high level for the sake of peace in the region, he added.
Forced attachment of a part of the territory of one country to another is unacceptable, President of the Center for a New American Security Richard Fontaine said at the conference.
Fontaine stressed that extensive cooperation in the field of energy security is established between the U.S. and Azerbaijan, and the U.S. intend to weaken Europe's energy dependence on Russia.
He added a good cooperation in the defense sector is also established between the sides.
Fontaine stressed that the problems in the region, hampering this cooperation, and an important place between these problems takes the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
"We try to address these issues, including the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Some say that Russia can play an important role in resolving this conflict. It is true," he added.
Since a lengthy war in the early 1990s that displaced over one million Azerbaijanis, Armenian armed forces have occupied over 20 percent of Azerbaijan's internationally recognized territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent regions.
The UN Security Council's four resolutions on Armenian withdrawal have not been enforced to this day.
Peace talks, mediated by Russia, France and the U.S. through the OSCE Minsk Group, are underway on the basis of a peace outline proposed by the Minsk Group co-chairs and dubbed the Madrid Principles. The negotiations have been largely fruitless so far.