aku, Azerbaijan, May 5
Azerbaijan is a valuable partner of NATO, NATO Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Tacan Ildem said.
Ildem made remarks at a meeting with Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov, the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry said May 5.
NATO attaches great importance to cooperation with Azerbaijan, Ildem added.
Ildem appreciated Azerbaijan’s participation in the NATO "Resolute support" peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan, as well as its contribution to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund and the sustainable development of Afghanistan.
At the meeting, the sides exchanged views on Azerbaijan's participation in NATO programs.
Mammadyarov talked about the negotiation process for the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and added that the conflict must be resolved within the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Azerbaijan.
He added that the presence of Armenian armed forces in the occupied Azerbaijani territories poses a threat to the peace and stability of the region.
The conflict between the two South Caucasus countries began in 1988 when Armenia made territorial claims against Azerbaijan. As a result of the ensuing war, in 1992 Armenian armed forces occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including the Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts.
The 1994 ceasefire agreement was followed by peace negotiations. Armenia has not yet implemented four UN Security Council resolutions on withdrawal of its armed forces from the Nagorno-Karabakh and the surrounding districts.