Azerbaijan has become a reliable venue for international meetings and negotiations. The country reaffirmed its well-deserved title as one of the most important centers of world diplomacy, providing a platform for the political dialogue of the top military leadership of the world's largest military alliance and one of the world's largest powers. The Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Armed Forces in Europe, Curtis Scaparotti, with the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia, Valery Gerasimov met in Baku on December 12.
During the meeting with Curtis Scaparrotti, President Ilham Aliyev described the election of Azerbaijan among other countries to host discussions of crucial issues of global security as a sign of respect for and trust in the country. The head of state said this is also indicative of Azerbaijan`s role in ensuring regional security, development and stability as well as of the policy the country is pursuing.
Scaparrotti thanked the President for hosting a meeting with the Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation. He said Baku is a perfect venue for a meeting in NATO-Russia format, stressing the importance of Baku`s hosting such an event for the second time.
Baku is the initiator of many events, formats and processes aimed at strengthening peace, establishing intercultural and inter-civilizational dialogue, developing multiculturalism and tolerance. In addition, Azerbaijan generates many peace initiatives and is an active supporter of peacekeeping operations, which is confirmed by active participation in peacekeeping missions in Iraq, Afghanistan and South Sudan.
Obviously, there were certain tensions in the relations between NATO and Russia. In 2014, NATO decided to suspend practical cooperation with Russia, while maintaining a political dialogue at the level of ambassadors and above. Russia has repeatedly stated that it was not Moscow that suspended agreements with NATO and that's why the alliance should take steps to reanimate the interaction.
The recent meeting between Scaparotti and Gerasimov to discuss global security issues undoubtedly shows the importance that both NATO and Russia attach to Azerbaijan. There are not so many countries with a clear foreign policy in the world. Against this background, Azerbaijan evokes respect and trust, pursuing a balanced foreign policy, making efforts to ensure regional security.
Moscow and Brussels decided to hold an important meeting in Baku, confirming that both the North Atlantic Alliance and the official Kremlin perceive Azerbaijan as a reliable and responsible partner. Azerbaijan’s cooperation with NATO only serves to strengthen peace. Similarly, strong military and military-technical ties between Baku and Moscow do not harm the interests of the North Atlantic Alliance.
The significance of the meeting between Scaparotti and Gerasimov is really obvious because each such meeting brings together positions and improves the political atmosphere in the whole world.
In addition, Azerbaijan is regarded as a reliable partner and this was a weighty factor to choose the country as a venue for negotiations. Azerbaijan is committed to friendship, equal partnership, openness and transparency in international relations. It is always possible to find solution to very complicated problems through dialogue, negotiations and political contacts.
Scaparotti and Gerasimov held their first meeting in the Azerbaijani capital this April. The fact that it was Baku that was chosen as a platform for such difficult negotiations was particularly emphasized. This dialogue is regarded by many as important for reducing tensions between Russia and NATO not only in the Middle East, but also in the South Caucasus.
It is worth emphasizing that the April meeting was the first since 2013, when the administration of ex-US President Barack Obama imposed a ban on personal contacts between the head of the Allied Forces of NATO and his Russian counterpart. It is symbolic that the renewal of contacts occurred precisely in Baku.
Azerbaijan is a country with a very positive international reputation. Of course, the most graphic example of this was the election of Azerbaijan to the UN Security Council with the support of 155 countries. This is a great achievement for a young independent state, which showed that an absolute majority of the world community supports Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s active foreign policy efforts are bearing fruit. The search for political solutions to complex problems, reliable partnership, stability, security and development all together characterize better profile of the country, mirrioring its growing political influence in the world. Baku is already one of the centers of world diplomacy and expanding relations with the U.S., Russia and NATO is the best example for it.
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