Azerbaijan Should Support US Initiatives on Placement on Anti-Missile Defense System in Turkey: Military Expert
Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 March / corr Trend S.Agayeva / The Azerbaijani military experts have called on the authorities to support Turkey and the United States in the placement of an anti-missile system in Turkey.
Since February the United States have talked about the placement of mobile radar of its AMD system in one more European country - Turkey following the Czech Republic and Poland.
Official talks on the issue should commence during the NATO Summit, whereas this matter was also considered during the visit of Robert Gates, the head of Pentagon, to Ankara.
"The US initiative to place AMD in Turkey was expected, because it is vital for Turley to use the territory of Turkey to fight against potentially dangerous countries," Uzeyir Jafarov, an Azerbaijani independent expert, told Trend on 14 March.
"The placement of AMD in the neighboring country does not threaten Azerbaijan. We reside in such a sensitive region that we should consider taking further steps and it would be very profitable for us in the strategic context, the experts assured. Azerbaijan, a country drawn to military conflict with Armenia, could use the AMD in Turkey for its own purposes.
The conflict between the two countries of the South Caucasus began in 1988 due to Armenian territorial claims against Azerbaijan. Since 1992, Armenian Armed Forces have occupied 20% of Azerbaijan including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and its seven surrounding districts. In 1994, Azerbaijan and Armenia signed a ceasefire agreement at which time the active hostilities ended. The Co-Chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group ( Russia, France, and the US) are currently holding peaceful negotiations.
According to Jafarov, in future Azerbaijan may cooperate with Turkey and the United States in exchanging information on the Gabala RS, which the Russians have been leasing from Azerbaijan by 2012.
Gabala Radar Station situated in the north-west of Azerbaijan was built while the USSR as an important element of the USSR AMD. After the independence of Azerbaijan and transition of the radar station to its ownership Russia continued the use of station despite all the upheavals of Azerbaijani's inner political life.
The 10-year agreement to lease the station was signed in 2002.
"Azerbaijan should have its firm ground and demonstrate the world the unilateral political and military position and stand near Turkey which it regards as a strategic partner," Ildirim Mammadov, an independent military expert, colonel in reserve, told Trend .
Azerbaijan ought to state its position on the issue as soon as possible and render political assistance and military support to Turkey, the expert said
Gates called on Turkey to cooperation in the establishment of the third AMD center and promised financial assistance in upgrade of army and over $1.5bln investments in the military sector of Turkey.
The United States assures that the systems planned to be installed in Poland and Czech Republic are in no condition to defend 'all allies', because the possible missile attacks by Iran will mostly damage Greece, Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey. NTAO summit due in Bucharest in April will focus on consultations over possibility of bypassing this threat.