Ilham Aliyev’s visit to NATO headquarters marks another milestone, says Bryza

  23 November 2017    Read: 1242
Ilham Aliyev’s visit to NATO headquarters marks another milestone, says Bryza

The visit of Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev to NATO headquarters marks another milestone in relations between the two sides, Matthew Bryza, former US ambassador to Azerbaijan and former co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group told .

He pointed out that Azerbaijan’s contributions to NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) have been significant in terms not only of symbolism, but also in helping Azerbaijan’s military and broader government adapt to NATO’s standards in terms of not only military operations but also democratic civilian control of the military.

“Azerbaijan’s participation in ISAF in Afghanistan from 2002 until the cessation of ISAF in 2014, coupled with Azerbaijan’s continuing contribution for the training missions that followed ISAF, mark major milestones in Azerbaijan’s cooperation with NATO. So did Azerbaijan’s participation in the NATO-led peacekeeping force in Kosovo,” added Bryza.

He said that Azerbaijan can benefit further from its partnership with NATO by deciding to deepen its engagement with the Alliance.

“Azerbaijan is important to NATO as a partner that seeks to help the Alliance fight terrorism, restore stability in troubled regions, and adopt the military and political norms of NATO,” added Bryza.

Relations with NATO started when Azerbaijan joined the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (1992) and the Partnership for Peace (1994).

The country’s program of cooperation with NATO is set out in an Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP), which is agreed every two years.

Azerbaijan has long been an active contributor to NATO-led operations – it deployed troops to Kosovo in the past.

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