Minister: Azerbaijan and NATO have a 25-year enduring partnership

Minister: Azerbaijan and NATO have a 25-year enduring partnership

Politics
03 May 2019, 14:55 146
The celebration of the 25th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s partnership with NATO testifies to the country’s achievements, Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov said, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry.
"This success is the result of the complex activities, which Azerbaijan undertook in very difficult circumstances 25 years ago,” he added.
”Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Programme on May 4, 1994, when the national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev signed the PfP Framework Document, and this program, which has been successfully continued by President of Azerbaijan and Supreme Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Ilham Aliyev, has proved to be one of the most successful engagements in terms of developing effective military relationship and interoperability between NATO and the Azerbaijani Armed Forces,” Hasanov said.
"The development of mutually beneficial relationships with NATO is one of the main directions of the Azerbaijani Army’s military cooperation,” he said. "The existing partnership between Azerbaijan and NATO, as well as joint activities in various peace support operations are vivid examples of the efforts and the peaceful intent of our country to promote security and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area.”
”Despite the current challenges, Azerbaijan has contributed to the achievement of international stability by joining NATO-led operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan since the commencement of the missions,” the minister said.
"Realizing the importance of the Resolute Support Mission to the security and continuous development of Afghanistan, as well as to the regional and global security, we increased the number of our military contingent in Afghanistan by 30 percent in 2018,” he said. "Additionally, Azerbaijan’s contribution to Afghanistan also includes non-military aid such as political, financial and logistic support, land-air transit, various training and mine clearance.”
"We clearly understand that in the globalizing world, every crisis or conflict has unavoidable impact on other countries and therefore, Azerbaijan is and will be cooperating with NATO to establish peace and security in the Euro-Atlantic area,” Hasanov said.
”It is no coincidence that Azerbaijan is one of the first countries to join the Planning and Review Process,” he added. "This mechanism, which is the basis of practical cooperation, has been contributing to the implementation of defence reforms, which are based on the principles of modern armed forces development, necessary level of operational interoperability and transformation of the Armed Forces.”
"Especially, I would like to emphasize that the Azerbaijani Army effectively uses Operational Capability Concept Evaluation and Feedback Programme to achieve operational interoperability,” Hasanov added.
"The Azerbaijani Army joined the program with one company in 2004, today the units from all services are involved into the program and the gained experience is shared not only within the country, but also with partner nations, thus contributing to the development of the program,” he said.
"Of course, the achievement of success in military sphere is directly interrelated with the level of operational interoperability,” the minister said. "However, it is an undeniable fact that the human interoperability and like-mindedness is a key to achieving a sustainable partnership. In this context, I would like to emphasize the importance of Partnership for Peace Staff Post Concept.”
”Twenty-four officers of the Azerbaijani Army have served at various NATO Headquarters and bodies within this program since 2002,” he said. "Currently, eight Azerbaijani officers are working at various NATO Command structures. The experience, gained by working within the NATO HQs and in an international capacity during all these years, is valuable upon return of our officers to national duties. Knowledge and experience obtained in multinational structures are integrated into national practice to further contribute to the development of defence capabilities of our army.”
"Our substantial cooperation with NATO also includes integration of NATO education and training standards into our professional military education system,” Hasanov said. "For more than ten years, Azerbaijan has been using the NATO Defence Education Enhancement Programme to train leaders, ready to address new challenges and all kinds of threats in a complex and dynamic strategic sphere.”
”NATO’s various cooperation programs have proved themselves as an effective tool for positive changes,” he added. "We think that the overall stability and security of the Euro-Atlantic area depend on the domestic reforms and international cooperation pursued by the regional countries. NATO's partnership mechanisms and cooperation programs, which we are involved in, play an important role in defining the framework of defence and security reforms of Azerbaijan and the entire region, and enhance security of the region, as well as the Euro-Atlantic area.”
"It is worth emphasizing that the historical success of the Alliance in preserving integrity, sovereignty and political independence of its members is one of the key factors that gathered so many countries around NATO in diverse partnerships, including the PfP countries,” the minister added. "Not only does the Alliance uphold these principles, but also defends them politically in general as the basis of the Euro-Atlantic security. In this context, NATO member states’ firm position on the settlement of conflicts in the South Caucasus is commendable and Azerbaijan is grateful to NATO for supporting its territorial integrity.”
"Located between Europe and Asia, the South Caucasus, especially Azerbaijan, play a significant role in the global energy market,” Hasanov said. "The South Caucasus is a very important region for Europe in terms of energy security. The existence of unresolved conflicts in the region creates a big threat not only to energy security, but also to stability of Europe. In this perspective, resolution of the conflicts in accordance with the principles and norms of international law, as well as the UN Charter, is in the interest of the international community.”
"Our country always demonstrates its commitment to peace and supports regional, as well as global stability by pursuing respective policies,” he said. "Twenty-five years of multidimensional cooperation, contribution to the international peace via peace support operations, and implemented successful projects to attain peace in the Euro-Atlantic area are the manifestation of our successful cooperation. I believe that the success that we have attained so far is the herald of the achievements yet to come. I am confident that we will continue to develop and strengthen this strategic partnership.”