Oct 20 2021
NATO PARTNERSHIPS DIRECTORATE VISITS AZERBAIJAN
BAKU, Azerbaijan – NATO Partnerships Directorate (PD) visited Baku in the Republic of Azerbaijan, Oct. 11– 16, 2021, for a series of engagements with the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence, including the International Military Cooperation Department.
"The importance of these NATO Day visits to Partner nations has significant and far reaching value. They provide invaluable opportunities to learn from each other, consolidate our understanding and reinforce interoperability. The quality, expertise and professionalism of the Azerbaijani forces are recognized at all levels where their contributions to NATO activities are most welcome," said Rear Admiral Bulent Turan, Deputy Chief of Staff Partnerships Directorate. "I and my team have been hugely impressed by the level of engagement in our discussions, where following our briefings, a high level of professional awareness has been demonstrated. Furthermore open and fruitful dialogue has taken place where we have discussed current level of cooperation but also explored other areas where we can benefit each other."
NATO relations with Azerbaijan started in 1992, when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council. This forum for dialogue was succeeded in 1997 by the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, which brings together all Allies and partner countries in the Euro-Atlantic area. Bilateral cooperation began when Azerbaijan joined the Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme in 1994. Thanks to regular participation in PfP activities, Azerbaijan has been able to contribute actively to Euro-Atlantic security by supporting NATO-led peace-support operations.
The Azerbaijani Armed Forces have a strong relationship with NATO in many areas having supported the KFOR Mission, the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan and future involvement in other NATO-led missions.
They have played a key role in August 2021 when securing the Hamid Karzai International airport during the evacuation of people from Allied and Partner countries and Afghans who worked with NATO.
"Azerbaijan fully understands its role and contributions as a partner in NATO's operations and activities and we are proud to be part of a wider security framework. This first visit in 2021 after a year marked by the COVID-19 pandemic has been extremely useful and even more important reflecting 27 years of Azerbaijani NATO co-operation. The NATO team has engaged with junior, middle and senior military management to participate in very informative briefings. Every engagements have been a great venue to create awareness in different aspects of the Azerbaijan-NATO practical cooperation which will further contribute to effectiveness of future activities," said Lieutenant-Colonel Ramil Shukurov, Partner Nation Military Representative for the Republic of Azerbaijan at SHAPE.
Permanent Military Representatives within PD provide a vital role in facilitating NATO Partner events and are crucial in representing their respective countries. The Partnerships Directorate, based in SHAPE (Mons, Belgium), provides an important capability to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR) through the establishment and enhancement of relationships with NATO's Partner nations.
Story by SHAPE Public Affairs Office