By Sara Rajabova
North Atlantic Alliance and Azerbaijan have a very fruitful cooperation, said Daniel Cristian Ciobanu, Romanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan.
The ambassador made the remark at the workshop dedicated to NATO-Azerbaijan partnership organized by the Romanian Embassy in Baku, in its capacity of NATO Contact Point Embassy Azerbaijan on February 20.
NATO and Azerbaijan successfully work on different joint projects, according to Ciobanu.
Ciobanu informed that during the visit that he paid this week to NATO headquarters in Brussels for a series of public diplomacy events it was expressed NATO’s interest in further development of the partnership with Azerbaijan.
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 Individual Partnership Action Plan (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.
Romania, which has been the second country in the world to recognize independence of Azerbaijan, considers that enhanced cooperation between Baku and North Atlantic Alliance is beneficial for the whole South Caucasus region. Azerbaijan plays an important role in Europe’s efforts of diversification of its energy supplies.
The participants at the workshop positively assessed NATO-Azerbaijan relations and their perspectives of development.
Azerbaijan and Romania have a long history of relations dating back to the 15th century.
While the two sides enjoy good cooperation in multiple areas, the main focus has been on trade and energy links, with trade delegations and frequent talks on further development of such ties and an increase in bilateral trade since trade originating from Azerbaijan approximately five times more than ($161 million) of those from Romania ($31.83 million).
Romania also has been a strong advocate of Azerbaijan's future membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), pointing out the strategic importance of the country for trade and shipping, particularly with a view towards Afghanistan.