25 years of NATO - Azerbaijan partnership: Director General of NATO’s International Military Staff visits Azerbaijan
Lt Gen Jan Broeks, Director General of NATO’s International Military Staff visited Azerbaijan from 16-19 April 2019. During his visit, the Director General met with the Minister of Defence, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, the Chief of the International Military Cooperation Department, Major General Huseyn Mahmudov and the Commanders of the War College of the Azerbaijan Armed Forces and the Military Academy. While visiting the War College and the Military Academy, Lt Gen Broeks used the opportunity to address students and faculty members.
Speaking to the Minster of Defence, the Director General expressed the Alliance’s gratitude for Azerbaijan’s continued support to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission. Lt Gen Broeks stated: “By providing troops to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and by contributing to the Afghan National Army Trust Fund with troops and assistance to NATO Allies on transit routes, on land, in the air and by rail, Azerbaijan works with us in furthering international peace and security”. The Director General also welcomed the ongoing and possibly increased military to military cooperation regarding the further development of Azerbaijan’s interoperability with NATO.
After meeting with Commandant and touring the War Collage, Lt Gen Broeks delivered a speech to students and faculty members, stressing the importance of education. “Learning is an unending process, whether with college based training like you have here or day-to-day self-development. Do not become out of touch with the problems of the world. What may not be your problem today, could be your problem tomorrow”.
Concluding his visit, the Director General met with the Chief of the International Military Cooperation Department, Major General Huseyn Mahmudov. They discussed the increasing interoperability of the Azeri troops.
Relations with NATO 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.