Robert Simmons: Negotiations on Azerbaijan’s entrance to NATO can be possible only in case of establishment of peace in the region

Robert Simmons: Negotiations on Azerbaijan’s entrance to NATO can be possible only in case of establishment of peace in the region

Exclusive interview with Robert Simmons, special representative of the NATO Secretary General to South Caucasus and Central Asia

Question: During a news conference at the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry You stated that one of the major directions of the NATO’s Individual Partnership Program is a support to reforms in the defense sector of the country. What other directions does the program envisage?

Answer: There are three aspects in the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation. First is to create inter operability of Azerbaijan, i.e. to develop a labor ability of Azerbaijan to work with the alliance for seeking ways of cooperation. Second aspect will be assistance to them in developing better means of budgeting, planning, management of the Defense Ministry, personnel management and other issues like that. The third is to emphasize on the ways of control of the armed forces, i.e. to ensure the President and the parliament to take an ultimate control over the implementation of the military policy by the Defense Ministry.

Question: Does not the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict impede the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO? Could Azerbaijan integrate into the alliance in case of existence of an unsettled conflict?

Answer: Of course, it would be helpful for the conflict sides themselves ultimately to come to an agreement on the conflict through peaceable talks. Currently the Presidents and the Foreign Ministers of the two countries are conducting negotiations on the resolution of the conflict and we’re hopeful to see such relationships to end in an agreement. But we publicly continue cooperating with both sides - Azerbaijan and Armenia.

Eventually it was our hope to cooperate with these countries together and to cooperate as region. Therefore, we believe the conflict sides themselves will reach a peaceable resolution.

Question: Do the positions of Moscow and Brussels coincide on the Southern Caucasus?

Answer: We cooperate extensively with Russia. We cooperate with Russia in many issues, including the Southern Caucasus issue. The Alliance does not regard the Southern Caucasus, as any other region, as an area of conflict, or competition with Russia. We have good relationships with Russia, like Russia’s with NATO. There should not be any conflicting issue between Brussels and Moscow, i.e. between NATO and Russia.

Question: How could you comment the conflicting information on the establishment of US armed bases in Azerbaijan?

Answer: To best of my knowledge, the United States is not going to establish its armed bases in the Southern Caucasus, including Azerbaijan, or any other country of the region. Washington delivers assistance on multilateral and bilateral basis. But I’ve never heard that the United States was going to station operative armed forces in the Southern Caucasus.

Question: What is the position of the North-Atlantic Alliance on re-dislocation of the Russian armed forces from Georgia and Armenia? Does not this step give birth to imbalance of forces in the region?

Answer: Our overall position is that to place foreign forces in the territory of another country first the country should agree on it. It was clear that Georgia sometimes had not favor the placement of the Russian bases in its territory. Every country has a right to agree or not upon placement of foreign forces in its territory.

Our view is that if a country, which is going to station the armed forces in the territory of another country, undertakes a peacemaking commitment and if a country of dislocation is not against having foreign forces in its territory, then it can be allowed. As to Armenia, this country has politically agreed upon the placement of Russian armed bases in its territory and agrees upon the Russian policy in its territory. So, NATO has no objection in this respect. We accept such foreign forces. Our policy is that we will back the efforts of the country which does not want to have any foreign forces in its territory, like in case with Georgia.

Question: What is NATO’s role in opening the Armenian-Turkish border?

Turkey is the member of the alliance and obviously as a member we have good perspective for cooperation. We hope that the negotiations between Turkey and Armenia will be well continued.

Question: Could you tell us about procedures and steps required for Azerbaijan’s entrance to NATO and could it become possible in the medium-term perspective?

Right now we continue equal term cooperation well. The beautiful start was the development of cooperation with Azerbaijan under the NATO’s partnership actions programs. Afterwards, it would be possible to consider Azerbaijan’s membership at the Northern Alliance. Within a definite periods of time, when the sides come to an agreement, Azerbaijan’s membership at NATO can be put under process. When there is peace in Azerbaijan and the country is ready, Baku and the Alliance could start talks on Azerbaijan’s membership at the organization.

In case the integration of the country to NATO starts Azerbaijan will have to carry out some reforms and partnership actions. If members of the Alliance come to an opinion that the policy conducted by Baku meets the NATO’s policy, then the Alliance could take a concrete decision in this respect.

Georgia may arrange charter flight to Germany - minister
Georgia may arrange charter flight to Germany - minister
Iran's Railway Company signs contract on purchase of railway transport
Iran's Railway Company signs contract on purchase of railway transport
MyWay Airlines brings Georgian citizens back from Barcelona
MyWay Airlines brings Georgian citizens back from Barcelona
Loading Bars
Latest
Pompeo says U.S. to impose visa curbs on Huawei over rights
Turkey discloses number of real estate properties purchased by Iranian citizens
SOCAR plans to send another batch of Azerbaijani oil to Belarus
Turkish company invests in production of copper, aluminium wires in Georgia
Georgia may arrange charter flight to Germany - minister
Subsistence minimum for average household down in Georgia
Bank of Georgia implements new project in hotel business
NATO-Georgia Commission praises reforms carried out in Georgia
New hotel to open in Kazbegi with support from Bank of Georgia
Bank of Georgia launches new program with Hazelnut Growers Association
Azerbaijan's SOCAR boosts natural gas export in 2Q2020
Daughter of Azerbaijan’s Aghdam village resident killed by Armenian armed forces discloses details of his death (PHOTO)
Iran reveals value of trade turnover with Thailand
Gold, silver prices show growth in Azerbaijan
MP: All residents of Tovuz district believe in Azerbaijani army and support it (VIDEO)
Assistant to Azerbaijani president exposes Armenian FM’s lies on live TV broadcast
Uzbekistan launches production of tank wagons for liquefied gas transportation
Share of OPEC crude oil in total global production decreased
Fitch affirms long-term issuer default ratings of Ipoteka-Bank of Uzbekistan
Armenian armed forces shell Azerbaijani village visited by Azerbaijani journalists, MPs
Azerbaijan remains main supplier of electricity to Georgia
Israeli expert: Armenia’s provocation aimed at diverting attention from internal problems
Iranian Energy Exchange announces products for sale July 18
Minister: Textile factory in Georgia's Rustavi to export products
Iran's Railway Company signs contract on purchase of railway transport
French ambassador summoned to Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry
Pakistani journalist: No peace in Nagorno Karabakh without implementing UN resolutions
Latest Armenian aggression on Azerbaijan - big challenge for world powers, says expert
Citizen of Armenia passes to Azerbaijani Nakhchivan's territory (VIDEO)
U.S. import prices beat expectations in June
EBRD, Bank of Georgia take steps to mitigate coronavirus impact on private sector
Criminal case initiated in Azerbaijan on Armenians shelling of settlement in Gazakh
Georgia sees increase in fish production
Azerbaijani currency rates for July 15
Two largest sugar factories of Uzbekistan cease to operate
Iran discloses value of private sector investment in its ports
WHO supports measures taken by Turkmenistan to prevent COVID-19 outbreak
Georgian TBC to offer better conditions to wineries under Preferential Agro Credit project
Russian group of companies to operate e-document circulation in Uzbekistan
Azerbaijani oil prices down
Water and electricity facilities to be commissioned in Iran's Hormozgan Province
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to grow in Iran
International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation Provides COVID-19 Emergency Food Package Relief Program for Republic of Kyrgyzstan (FOTO)
Money transfers to Georgia up in June 2020
Azerbaijan confirms 559 new COVID-19 cases
Volume of gas pumped into Iran's Shourijeh D gas storage facility grows
Mobile operator of Uzbekistan sums up its activity for 1H2020
Turkmenistan receives medicines from WHO/Europe
Field control point of one of Armenian armed forces’ units destroyed (VIDEO)
Global organizations should intervene to stop Armenia's aggressive behavior - expert
Turkmengas extends tender for in-line diagnostics of gas pipelines
EBRD to allocate loan to Turkmen company for PET preforms production
Azerbaijani army’s attack causes panic in Armenian army (VIDEO)
Assistant to Azerbaijan's president: Armenian side planned provocation in advance, on purpose
President Ilham Aliyev chaired Cabinet meeting on results of socio-economic development in first quarter of 2020 and future tasks (PHOTO)
Uzbekistan plants forest on dried part of Aral Sea
Turkmenistan’s Demiryollary opens tender to purchase spare parts
Pakistani expert: Armenian attack on Azerbaijani civilians - potential threat for peace in region
Demand for Iran's products increases in Russia
Ambassador: Georgian-French joint projects reflect countries' close relations
Uzbekistan to expand bilateral relations with India
OSCE chairperson-in-office concerned about escalation of tension on Armenian-Azerbaijani border
Azerbaijani army destroys Armenian military vehicle with pinpoint strike (VIDEO)
MyWay Airlines brings Georgian citizens back from Barcelona
Azerbaijani president expresses condolences to families of Major General Hashimov and Colonel Mirzayev
SOCAR Ukraine bids for shipment services for Odessa Port Plant
Large increase in grain production expected in Iran
Colliers International: Georgia's Tbilisi real estate market plummets
Turkmenistan's Lebap region ready to supply rice for state purchase
Oil gains after big U.S. drawdown, eyes on OPEC committee meeting
Central Bank of Uzbekistan reveals volume of foreign currency sales
Airbnb says one million nights booked in one day
Hotel business, food sector of Uzbekistan suffer most due to COVID–19
MP: Artillery shell fired by Armenians at Azerbaijan's Dondar Gushchu village didn't explode (VIDEO)
Defense Ministry: Azerbaijani army didn't use Grad system
Georgia reveals volume of exported peaches
Apple wins fight against $15 billion EU tax order
Number COVID-19 cases exceed 1K in Georgia
Renewable energy sector is of particular interest both for Romania, Azerbaijan
Romania eyes to assess opportunities for expanding energy cooperation with Azerbaijan
Romania names viable options for Southern Gas Corridor’s expansion
COVID-19 to have very strong, but short-term impact on oil market
Iran reveals its COVID-19 data for July 15
Iran discloses value of exports from Ardabil Province
Demand for Turkish cement falling in Uzbekistan's construction market
Uzbekistan reveals its COVID-19 data for July 15
COVID-19 crisis, low oil prices to affect trade relations between Finland, Kazakhstan
Azerbaijani Defense Ministry: Another military facility of Armenia destroyed (VIDEO)
NATO-Georgia Commission gives high evaluation to reforms carried out in Georgia - Foreign Ministry
Turkey’s daily COVID-19 cases fall below 1,000 for 1st time in over a month
Three dead, seven wounded in road collision in Poland
Turkish, U.S. presidents discuss Libya, economic ties over phone
Turkic Council condemns artillery shelling of Azerbaijan’s Tovuz region by Armenia
OIC General Secretariat condemns Armenia’s attack on Tovuz region in Azerbaijan
Iran, Syria to develop economic cooperation
Number of real estate purchased by Azerbaijani citizens in Turkey disclosed
Azerbaijan confirms 543 new COVID-19 cases
Number of websites registered on Azerbaijan's governmental domain up
Iranians sell their justice shares at stock exchange
Azerbaijan sees increase in number of Turkish citizens looking for job
All news