Azerbaijan to continue support for NATO mission in Afghanistan (UPDATE)

Politics Materials 7 December 2016 17:56 (UTC +04:00)

Details added (first version posted on 17:42)

Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 7


Azerbaijan, as a reliable partner of NATO and friend of brotherly Afghanistan, is committed to continue its significant contribution to the Resolute Support Mission beyond 2016 by providing troops, multimodal transit, training and financial assistance, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

He made the remarks at the NATO Resolute Support Ministerial in Brussels Dec. 7.

“My country has several times made substantial donations to the Afghan National Army (ANA) Trust Fund. We will continue to support this Fund in line with the pledges we made,” said Mammadyarov. “Furthermore, after conclusion of the Resolute Support Mission, my country envisages the contribution through the enhanced Enduring Partnership.”

Azerbaijan remains committed to a long-term political partnership and a practical cooperation with Afghanistan through bilateral cooperation and the relevant multilateral and regional formats, noted the minister.

In September 2016, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev approved Azerbaijan-Afghanistan agreement on multimillion worth assistance, mostly to security areas, actively implemented now, said Mammadyarov.

In addition, in line with the desired outcomes of the Resolute Support Mission, Azerbaijan is ready to train Afghan cadets in military educational institutions of the Republic of Azerbaijan in the framework of the bilateral cooperation, he added.

“I also would like to inform that just three days ago my country assumed the co-chairmanship of the Heart of Asia – Istanbul process for 2017,” noted the minister. “In this function, we will seek close coordination and consultations with all stake-holders, most notably with NATO, with a view to facilitating comprehensive and coherent support by the international community to Afghanistan.”

“Furthermore, we support Afghanistan on its path of reforms towards integrating into regional and global economy. As being a critical piece of the New Silk Road, Azerbaijan will connect Afghanistan and Europe to support Afghanistan’s sustainable future,” said Mammadyarov. “Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad and a new seaport Alat in Azerbaijan will further link Asia to Europe, subsequently helping to bring lasting peace and development to Afghanistan and beyond.”

“Last but not least, I would like to thank Ambassador [Ismail] Aramaz for his very dedicated and fruitful work as NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative,” added the foreign minister. “I also wish success to Ambassador [Cornelius] Zimmermann of Germany in all his endeavors.”