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NATO's Military Partnerships Division visits Azerbaijan

Head of the NATO Team,  Colonel Sandy Schwab,  Canadian Army,  addresses the Joint Forces Academy in Baku,  Azerbaijan.  - Photo courtesy of Azerbaijan Department of Defence
BAKU, Azerbaijan - NATO's Military Partnerships Division (MPD) visited Baku, in the Republic of Azerbaijan, from Nov. 20-24, 2017 for a series of engagements across many branches within the Ministry of Defence and Foreign Affairs.

"The value of these Partner visits cannot be under estimated. These represent significant opportunities to learn from each other, and allow NATO a forum to represent Euro-Atlantic strategic considerations to selected audiences. The quality, expertise and professionalism of the Azerbaijani forces is well established due to experience in operations and was very much in evidence when our teams visited such institutions'', said Colonel Sandy Schwab, Canadian Army, head of the NATO Team. "I have been impressed by the appetite for discussion and debate on NATO defensive capability and operational perspectives where there has been a keen interest in engaging with all representatives of the NATO HQ staff Branches. Our hosts have been very welcoming and fully prepared for professional dialogue."

The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have a long history and a strong relationship with NATO having supported the KFOR Mission and contributing to operations in Afghanistan since 2002.

"Azerbaijan fully understands its role in NATO's operations and we are proud to be part of a wider security framework. This visit was very timely as it allowed both junior, middle and senior military management to participate in some very informative briefings and have the opportunity to ask demanding questions," said Lieutenant Colonel Ramil Shukurov, Partner Nation Military Representative for the Republic of Azerbaijan.

Military Representatives within MPD provide a critical element in the information exchange process and ensures that in programming such visits, the correct audiences are engaged, and that themes and aims are fully agreed. These visits also allow common understanding of Defence Security Reform as well as reinforcing transparency in participation in NATO exercises.

The Military Partnerships Division provides an important capability to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) through the establishment and enhancement of relationships with NATO's Partner nations. Amongst other responsibilities, the Division provides an annual programme that includes extensive engagement and advisory visits to all NATO Partners.

Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office

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