President of Azerbaijan addresses NATO Council

  • 08 Nov. 2006 -
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  • Last updated: 04 Nov. 2008 02:31

The President of Azerbaijan, lham Aliyev, visited NATO HQ on 8 November to discuss NATO-Azerbaijan relations as well as regional security issues.

The President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, visited NATO HQ on 8 November to discuss NATO-Azerbaijan relations as well as regional security issues.

Mr. Aliyev met with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and addressed the North Atlantic Council, the Alliance’s principal decision-making body.

Discussions focused on ways of taking forward cooperation under the Individual Partnership Action Plan that Azerbaijan signed with NATO last year.

This includes issues such as defence reform, democratic institution-building and democratic control over the armed forces.

An important roadmap

“The IPAP is not just a programme of cooperation, but also a roadmap for Azerbaijan’s adaptation to Euro-Atlantic standards, norms, values and institutions,” said Mr. De Hoop Scheffer in his opening address at the Council meeting.

“Considerable progress has been made, but you will agree with me that there also remains a great deal of important work to do,” he said.

“Euro-Atlantic integration for us is a very important element of our foreign policy,” Mr. Aliyev told the Council.

Mr. Aliyev and the Council also exchanged views on regional issues and energy security.

“Economic reforms, political reforms, democratization of society, social reforms and defence reforms…, they will all allow us to create a strong country,” he told reporters following the meeting.

This was Mr. Aliyev’s second visit to NATO.  Azerbaijan has been a NATO partner country since 1994 and currently contributes forces to NATO’s peace support operations in Afghanistan and Kosovo.