Domestic and foreign policy pursued by President Ilham Aliyev has led to further development of our country and recognition of stability in the international arena. It is precisely because of this that Azerbaijan has hosted many international events, including diplomats and presidents' meetings at the highest level. On February 16, Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the US Army Chiefs of Staff Joseph Danford held a meeting in Baku.
On September 7, our capital hosted another meeting in this format. Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces Valery Gerasimov and Head of the NATO Military Committee Petr Pavel met in Baku. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the generals discussed international security issues in Europe and the Middle East. The head of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff informed the head of the NATO Military Committee about the strategic training "West 2017", stressing that they are organized and of defensive nature and not meant to target a third country. Valeri Gerasimov noted that the main goal of the exercises is to ensure security of the allied-states of Russian-Belarusian. The parties agreed to keep in touch.
Gerasimov and Pavel along with with their delegation seperately met with the First Deputy Defense Minister of Azerbaijan - General Headquarters of the Armed Forces, Colonel General Najmmadin Sadikov. The parties discussed the current state of cooperation in the military sphere, the prospects of development of relations in military-technical and military fields, and exchanged views on other issues of mutual interest. The guests expressed deep gratitude to the leadership of Azerbaijan for hosting of the bilateral meeting in Baku and high hospitality. The same day Gerasimov's delegation was received by the Azerbaijani President. President Ilham Aliyev characterized the holding of the meeting between Gerasimov and Pavel as an example of confidence in Azerbaijan.
Aydin Mirzazade, deputy chairman of the Committee for Defense, Security and Anti-Corruption of the Parliamnet, head of the Political Analysis and Forecasting Department of the Executive Secretary of the New Azerbaijan Party (YAP), believes that the meeting between Gerasimov and Pavel in Baku is an indication of the growing political influence of Azerbaijan. According to him, Azerbaijan is becoming a diplomatic center where very large events are held, the world's fateful issues are resolved:
"Stability in Azerbaijan, infrastructure development and, most importantly, the high level of security leads to the selection of Azerbaijan as the meeting place. During the meeting of US and Russian military leaders at the beginning of the year, many experts stated that this was the beginning, and that such events are expected to take place in Baku in the future. There are several places in the world where such meetings are held. These include Paris, London, Geneva. Adding Baku to this list shows that Azerbaijan is a country where reliable partners with all countries in the world and where serious issues are discussed. The meeting in Baku shows diplomatic prestige of Azerbaijan and the confidence of the leading states and organizations of the world. I think that after the second such meeting, the world will look at Azerbaijan completely differently ".
Former security officer, military expert Arzu Naghiyev also shared his thoughts on the subject, saying that Azerbaijan meets all the requirements to host such meetings. According to him, balanced policy pursued in Azerbaijan, as well as high security, allows such meetings to be held in Baku: "Selection of Azerbaijan for the meeting of Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, Army General Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Peter Pavel is a very important event. It is not the first time that such a meeting is held in our country. Recently, Russia's chief of staff and NATO leadership met in our country. This once again shows that Azerbaijan has become a state that will mediate such high-level meetings. One of the reasons why these meetings are held in our country is the balanced policy of our state.The security issue plays an important role here, too. Because the security must be guaranteed in order for such meetings to take place. Because Azerbaijan has met all these requirements, it was selected to host such an honorable event".
Head of the Atlas Research Center, political scientist Elkhan Shahinoglu, commented on the Baku meeting of the generals and pointed out that the meeting took place only hours after the news of the upcoming meeting spread on September 7. He said that it was kept secret until the last moment. He also said that a similar incident took place in February: "A meeting started in the capital of Azerbaijan a few hours after the announcement of the news that Russian and US Chiefs of Staff would meet in Baku in February this year. At that time, Russian and US Chiefs of Staff discussed the situation in Syria and the joint fight against terrorists in this country. As Azerbaijan was close to Syria, Baku was chosen as the meeting spot. For various reasons, Iran and Turkey, which is neighboring to Syria, could not be selected as the meeting destination. Because both of these countries have conflicting interests in Syria. The only interest of Azerbaijan in Syria is the restoration of the territorial integrity and stability of the country. No document was signed in Baku. Nevertheless, based on the verbal agreement reached in Baku, Russian and US military men did not interfere with each other in the fight against terrorism in Syria".
The political scientist also disclosed the reason for selection of Baku as the meeting spot: "Georgia has no diplomatic relations with Russia, relations between the two countries are cold. Armenia is a member of Russia's military and strategic ally, including the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). Therefore, the NATO leadership would not agree with the election of Yerevan and Russia objected to the selection of Tbilisi. The choice of Baku was more appropriate for the parties. Azerbaijan has close relations with both Russia and NATO and is at the similar distance from both. Syria was not the main topic of discussion at the next meeting between the head of the NATO Military Committee and the Chief of General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces. Tension between NATO and Russia relates to different topics and areas. Russia is worried about rapprochement along the NATO borders, US deployment of missile defense systems in Eastern Europe, and NATO's concerned about Rusian military trainings near the Baltic states. Admittedly, no document was signed in Baku. However, a verbal agreement was reached, as was the case in the past. The parties decided to continue the dialogue in order not to escelate relations. The choice of Baku as a meeting place to discuss global issues proves the significance of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is known as one of the platforms for in the international arena. At the same time, Baku will use this opportunity to draw the attention of the big powers to the occupation of our territory".