Azerbaijani government is NATO reliable partner in both air and ground transit
Azerbaijan, Baku, July 5 / Trend, E.Mehdiyev /
Azerbaijani government is a reliable partner of NATO, the Alliance's special representative for South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai told reporters in Baku on Thursday.
"Azerbaijani government has always been a reliable partner of NATO when it comes to transit, both air transit and ground transit. We have agreed to do more together,"
He said NATO has started to draw down in Afghanistan, most of what NATO has there will come out.
"And so the route through Azerbaijan has always been very dependable for NATO, other routes have been less dependable. So we are very grateful for that. We hope across the Caspian as well we start to be able to bring non-military goods. So I think it will be an economic benefit also to Azerbaijan," Appathurai underscored.
Appathurai also said the new Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) has been approved.
"We had discussions about IPAP. It has now been agreed and work has been started," he underscored.
Appathurai said NATO and Azerbaijan are moving forward, an important part of that is planning and review process, which focuses much more on defense aspect.
"That is what we are negotiating right now. We are now taking forward cooperation on defense modernization, security structures also like in energy security," he added.
Azerbaijan has been cooperating with NATO within IPAP since 2005. The program was originally designed to last two years. Today, cooperation is held within the second phase of the Individual Partnership Action Plan between Azerbaijan and NATO, which covers 2008-2010.