Azerbaijan is an active partner of NATO. 26 NATO member-countries and 20 partners-countries have signed productive agreements with Azerbaijan and successfully develop the interaction, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, General Ray Eno exclusively told Trend Special correspondent in Moscow.
We highly assess the level of the co-operation between Azerbaijan and NATO. In addition, we welcome the intentions of Azerbaijan, as an active and valuable participant of the Euro-Atlantic partnership, to develop and deepen the relations with NATO on a bilateral beneficially base, the General said.
With regards to the statement of the Chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly that the fact of occupation of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia prevents the integration of the South Caucasus to the structures of the Euro-Atlantic security, the General stressed that it is a political issue and his competence, as a Chairman of NATO Military Committee, doesn't include to comment on it.
In addition, the Chairman of the Military Committee stressed that he held productive talks with the Chief of the General Headquarter of Russian Armed Forces, General Baluveski, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister A.Grushko. According to him, Russia is an important strategic partner of NATO, particularly in fight with international terrorism, and so on.
Touching up on the issue linked with Georgia, that was discussed during the meeting held in Russia, the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee emphasized that presently NATO has begun intensive dialogue with Georgia, but strengthening the dialogue with Georgia doesn't guarantee that Georgia will become the member of NATO in the near future.
Usually such talks last for long. At present, it would be so early to speak about the membership in NATO. The political decision hasn't been made. Presently it is very early to deal with the membership of Georgia in NATO, Eno underlined.
He clarified the question of accepting any country to the membership of NATO in result of consideration in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council. If a political decision is made, there is a practice of official invitation of this or other country, after which the process of official entrance begins. The invitation is issued on base of preparation of state, Eno ruled out.
According to him, the preparation includes democracy establishment, good neighborhood relations, internal stability and serenity in the country.
We know the tension emerged between Georgia and Russia. It is bilateral relations, and NATO has no relation with this issue. One of the key issues for entrance to NATO is good neighborhood relations. All these factors, including military reforms, play an essential role while making a decision regarding entrance to NATO, Eno ruled out. Commenting the relations of Georgia with Abkhazia and South Osetia, the General said: These issues are of bilateral policy. We consider all such conflicts as internal issues. According to him, Georgia should resolve them independently and mutually.
General Eno confirmed that NATO has no plans to replace the Russian peacemakers in the zone of Georgian-Abkhazian and Georgian-South Osetia conflicts. He said that during his meeting with Russian senior official, he heard the anxiety of Russian side about this issue. I will deliver all this information to the NATO Head, General concluded.