NATO keen to further work with Azerbaijan in Afghanistan – Appathurai
Baku, Azerbaijan, Feb. 16
By Anakhanum Khidayatova - Trend:
NATO intends to continue working with Azerbaijan in Afghanistan, the NATO Secretary General's Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Central Asia James Appathurai said in an exclusive interview with Trend in Baku Feb. 16.
"What we intend to do is to continue working together with Azerbaijan in Afghanistan," he said.
Appathurai went on to add that Azerbaijan's presence in NATO-led mission in Afghanistan will be expanded.
He expressed hope that Azerbaijan will continue making substantial financial contribution to supporting the Afghan security forces.
Appathurai further expressed hope that Azerbaijan will continue its broader support to Afghanistan to help the country stand on feet.
Regarding the presence of Azerbaijani officers in the NATO structures, he said that in fact there is quite an active process of training for Azerbaijani officers, which helps to improve their capabilities.
He said there are two cooperation frameworks - the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is more political and partnership oriented, and the one oriented to defense reform in Azerbaijan.
"Both of these programs have two-year cycle, coming to an end in 2016," Appathurai said. "So we are about to start new discussions about how to renew them - what goals do we have, what adaptations do we want to make, if any, to our current cooperation. I think by the end of 2016 we will know what we are going to change."
Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation is realized as part of the Partnership for Peace program.
Earlier, NATO adopted a document on the fourth stage of the Individual Partnership Action Plan for 2015-2016.
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