Every year over 300 officers of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces participate in different NATO events. The statement was made in a roundtable entitled Azerbaijan-NATO: realities and perspectives held with the participation of employees of the Defense Ministry and MPs at the International Press Club on Monday.
MP Aydin Mirzazade noted that after Azerbaijans independence the key importance was attached the foreign relations of the army. From this aspect Azerbaijan was eager to set up cooperation with NATO. Over the past period Azerbaijan and NATO has considerably expanded their relationships.
The basis of the Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation was laid by the national leader, Heydar Aliyev. Azerbaijan was one of 27 states which stated on its participation in the Partnership for Program, proposed by the alliance. In May 2004 Ilham Aliyev, the Azerbaijani President, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, presented to the NATO Secretary General an action plan on individual partnership, which actually gave impetus to the development of the Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation, MP stressed.
Other speakers to the event noted the successful contribution of the divisions of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces in the NATO exercises in Afghanistan, Kosovo and Iraq.
The NATO Secretary Generals Saloglu project on the South Caucasus and Central Asia which targets the demining of unexploded ordinances was attributed as the best project of NATO. The project mirrors the good level cooperation between NATO and Azerbaijan and it will assume more importance for future cooperation.