|Updated: 02-Dec-2003||NATO Speeches|
2 Dec. 2003
by Colonel-General Safar Abiyev, Minister of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council meeting in Foreign Ministers' session with invitees
Honorable Secretary General,
In the light of the new security challenges and threats, the practical cooperation between Allies and Partners demonstrates its importance than ever before with a view to ensuring security and stability in the whole Euro-Atlantic area.
We have already witnessed the value of this close cooperation and joint actions through Euro-Atlantic Partnership both in the Balkans and in Afghanistan, and in the fight against international terrorism where Azerbaijan is taking part by contributing to KFOR and ISAF under the command of NATO, In the meantime Azerbaijani peacekeeping contingent are participating at the peaceful and democratic reconstruction oflraq within coalition forces.
However, we believe that still unfading potential for much closer collaboration through Euro-Atlantic Partnership lies ahead of us.
Individual Partnership Action Plan mechanism is an important initiative in the right direction. Azerbaijan is one of the first partner nations who has expressed its readiness to build its further relations with the Alliance on the basis of IPAP.
We hope that it will systemize and harmonize all spheres of our partnership pertinent to the NATO's objectives and Azerbaijan's particular needs and requirements and will elevate it to the earlier mentioned level
IPAP also necessitates the need for improving liaison arrangements between NATO and interested Partner. We believe that establishment of NATO/PfP Cell in Baky with military liaison presence will he a fundamental mechanism to further IPAP, PARP and defense reform process undertaken in Azerbaijan and contribute to enhancing interoperability between Azerbaijan and NATO.
Taking into account the essential role of OCC in enhancing interoperability between Allies and Partners we are considering the possibilities to join this program and to report one of our units, which we have already declared in the PARP, into the OCC pool of forces data base.
As regards to Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism, let me stress that Azerbaijan actively participates in this process and stands ready to build up bilateral or multilateral cooperation with Allies and Partners through PAP-T, However, we deem that the effectiveness of this endeavor will depend much more on the level of promotion of further "operational cooperation" between Allies and Partners.
In the meantime, Azerbaijan supports the idea to connect PARP as one
of the mechanisms on fight against terrorism, through the review and
adaptation of existed Partnership Goals. It is also important to carry
out an assessment of the needs and resources of the interested partners
so that to provide appropriate assistance and expertise within this instrument.
In my conclusion let me once more express that the South Caucasus remains the only region in the Euro-Atlantic area where the international security remains undermined because of the existing so called frozen conflicts. The South Caucasus remains the only region where the common norms and principles of international law can not be realized due to the destructive position of Armenia, which pledging the regional cooperation, continues occupation of the Azerbaijani territory and in reality rejects existing internationally recognized borders. In such circumstance implementation of regional cooperation in the South Caucasus remains impossible.
Full text of my address will be issued.