Azerbaijani President meets NATO Secretary General in Brussels (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 15 / Trend /
President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev on Wednesday met with Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels.
Rasmussen highly appreciated Azerbaijan-NATO partnership and congratulated Azerbaijani leader on election of Azerbaijan as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Chief official of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said the Azerbaijan's Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) is one of the key elements of NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. Rasmussen also praised Azerbaijan's involvement in peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan as part of the International Security Assistance Force.
President Ilham Aliyev, in turn, emphasized Azerbaijan will continue to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations.
The Azerbaijani leader said Azerbaijan is seeking to achieve Euro-Atlantic standards and to draw closer to Euro-Atlantic institutions.
Ilham Aliyev also dwelled on Azerbaijan's contribution to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. He insisted Azerbaijan's cooperation with NATO will improve even more.
NATO-Azerbaijan relations date back to 1992, when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (later renamed the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997).
Cooperation has steadily increased since Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace programme in 1994 and its participation in the PfP Planning and Review Process since 1997. The focus on supporting Azerbaijan's domestic reform process has intensified since the development of Azerbaijan's first IPAP with NATO in 2005.
President Aliyev and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen held a joint press conference in the Alliance`s Headquarters.
Following President Ilham Aliyev`s and NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen`s remarks the press conference featured a question-and-answer session with journalists.