Azerbaijan is a close, trusted and valued partner, who works with NATO in strengthening international peace and security, Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Air Chief Marshal Sir Stuart Peach said, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani defense ministry on May 3.
“During 25 years NATO-Azerbaijan partnership developed into the multifaceted relationship we have today,” he said. “Throughout the years, our partnership and interoperability has grown through Azerbaijan’s involvement in our operations and missions.”
“Azerbaijani troops participated in our NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo (KFOR) from 1998-2008, stood shoulder to shoulder with Allied troops during the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan from 2002 to the end of the NATO-led operation in 2014,” Peach said.
“Azerbaijan still supports the follow-on Resolute Support Mission (RSM) to train, advise and assist Afghan security forces by contributing to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund and by providing troops and assistance to NATO Allies on transit routes, on land, in the air and by rail, for example through the Baku –Tbilisi – Kars railway.”
“Our partnership has been strengthened by Azerbaijan’s participation in our Defence Education and Enhancement programme, cooperation with our Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre, to develop Azerbaijan’s national civil emergency and disaster management capabilities, as well as the country’s involvement in our Partnership Interoperability Initiative to increase the interoperability of Azerbaijani troops,” he said.
“Today our practical cooperation covers many areas, from capability development to energy security to cooperation in the defence and security sector, defence institution building, civil emergency planning, scientific cooperation, and public diplomacy,” Peach said. “We are committed to continuing working with you in all areas that you have chosen.”
”NATO’s partnerships are, and will continue to be, essential to the way NATO works,” Peach added. “I want to recognize the achievements and progress Azerbaijan has made over the last twenty-five years as a trusted NATO partner, and the important role you have played strengthening regional stability and furthering international peace and security.”
“I am confident that both the Alliance and Azerbaijan will continue to build on the last twenty-five years and invest in this partnership,” he said. “I look forward to developing NATO-Azerbaijan relations further and deepening military cooperation with Azerbaijan.”