Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 21
By Anakhanum Hidayatova – Trend:
NATO and Azerbaijan cooperate on a number of areas within the framework of the Partnership for Peace (PfP); more specifically through two important tools: the PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP) and the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), an official representative of NATO said in an exclusive interview with Trend.
"Currently key areas of cooperation include security cooperation, defence and security sector cooperation, civil emergency planning, scientific cooperation, and public diplomacy," said the NATO official.
"Azerbaijan continues to be a great contributor to NATO’s efforts in Afghanistan, by providing troops to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission to train, advise, and assist the Afghan National Defence Forces and by contributing to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund," noted the official. "Azerbaijan also consults on a regular basis with NATO allies on further improving defence planning, defence budgeting, and logistical support."
"In cooperation with NATO and through participation in activities organized by NATO’s Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC), Azerbaijan is developing its national civil emergency and disaster-management capabilities. Azerbaijan’s special search-and-rescue platoon has participated in several exercises organized by the EADRCC, including the 2015 exercise in Ukraine and 2016 exercise "CRNA GORA 2016" in Montenegro," added the official.
"In addition, Azerbaijan is developing two units (search and rescue and CBRN) to be on high readiness and ready to be deployed on disaster relief operations and is awaiting INSARAG (International Search and Rescue Guidelines) certification. Since 2009, an Azerbaijani officer from the Ministry of Emergency Situations (MES) has been working in the EADRCC as a Voluntary National Contribution."
"Azerbaijan is also actively involved in the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme, a unique partnership programme that offers opportunities for practical cooperation on security-related civil science and technology development. Over the last 20 years, Azerbaijan has participated in more than 80 SPS activities. For instance, in 2016, a group of system and network administrators from Azerbaijan took place in a cyber defense Advanced Training Course," said the NATO official.
"Baku also hosted a SPS-funded training course for experts in the field of counter-terrorism last year. In the field of energy security, Azerbaijani scientists support a SPS multi-year project, led by Italy and Georgia, to enhance security for the Enguri energy infrastructure in Georgia. The SPS Programme remains open to applications by interested scientists and experts from Azerbaijan in 2017."
"Azerbaijan has for many years worked with Allies to enhance infrastructure security and improve counter terrorism training. Azerbaijan also engages with NATO on the protection of energy-related critical infrastructure. NATO is providing support to Azerbaijan’s developing International CT Training Centre as it establishes its new courses," noted the official.
"The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action and the NATO Support Agency will continue their work in 2017 on the Jeyranchel Trust Fund, which aims to clear unexploded ordnance and mines. Turkey will lead this Trust Fund," said the NATO official.
"Going forward, we encourage Azerbaijan to work more with us in the field of good governance and democratic institution building, reflecting the objectives of the Partnership Action Plan for Defense Institution Building, which Azerbaijan endorsed in 2004. Opportunities offered by the Building Integrity Initiative could also be used," added the NATO official.
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