Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 4
Azerbaijan, as a potential operational partner to the post-ISAF mission, is capable to contribute significantly in terms of troops, training, transit and financial assistance even after 2014, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said at the ministerial meeting of the ISAF partner-countries held at NATO headquarters in Brussels on Dec.4.
The minister said that relations between Azerbaijan and Afghanistan are strategic and brotherly with a strong bilateral cooperation and a serious potential to grow, the Foreign Ministry reported.
Mammadyarov stressed in his speech that Azerbaijan may contribute to the development of Afghanistan even after the completetion of peacekeeping operations.
Azerbaijan is crucial as a transit route for ISAF and it will remain so for the post 2014 operation, the minister said.
Upcoming Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad and a new Caspian seaport in Azerbaijan will be a serious add-on to the transit capacity.
Talking about the Azerbaijan-NATO partnership, the minister stressed Azerbaijan stands strongly for committed and reliable relations with the Alliance.
The meeting discussed such topics as the new mission of NATO member states and its partners, participating in the International Security Assistance Force, after the completion of the mission in 2014, the transfer of control to the national security forces of Afghanistan and assistance to the Afghan national army.During the visit, the Minister held bilateral meetings.
While showing solidarity with Afghan people and the international community, Azerbaijan joined the International Security Assistance Force (İSAF) operation.
The country doubled the number of its servicemen in 2009. Currently, some 90 Azerbaijani servicemen are serving in İSAF.
Azerbaijan decided to expand its activity in Afghanistan's non-military areas. Real cooperation began from Afghan specialists' training in mine clearing. The preparatory operations on Azerbaijani military doctors' activity in Afghan hospitals, Afghan people's education at the medical university, the participation of medical personnel in Azerbaijan's educational courses and Afghan military personnel's participation in educational courses at the military academy and other military schools, as well as Afghan students' education in Azerbaijan are underway.