Updated: 08-Jun-2006 NATO Speeches




by Colonel-General Safar Abiyev,
Minister of Defence of the Republic of Azerbaijan
at the meeting of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council
at the level of Ministers of Defence

8 June 2006 - NATO HQ
Defence Ministers Meetings
Secretary General,
Dear colleagues,
Ladies and gentlemen,

Strengthening of the role of Partnership as part of the overall transformation of the Alliance as well as bolstering its capabilities to address new threats and challenges to international security remains the priority for our joint work.

We highly value the acknowledgement by the Alliance that Partners have greatly contributed to security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area, sharing not only the same vision but also the same risks. Indeed, we have been witnessing the particular value of this cooperation in the joint operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan, and in the fight against international terrorism. As a Partner Nation Azerbaijan stands ready to contribute to this process further.

We welcome the Alliance’s efforts to improve the implementation of all aspects of Political-Military Framework for NATO-led PFP operations, especially the earliest possible involvement by troop contributing nations in the decision-shaping process. We also support the Alliance’s decision on HQ ISAF’s transition to a Composite Model headquarters that will provide opportunities for Partners to contribute officers on staff and flag-level positions.

Dear colleagues, Azerbaijan actively uses the existing PfP tools and mechanisms that remarkably has increased the level of interoperability of our troops with the Allied forces and facilitates the conduct of defence and security reforms. We are committed to do more in this regard, broadly utilizing the extensive PARP and IPAP frameworks. Despite the occupation of 20% of Azerbaijani territories by Armenia, one million refugees and internally displaced person and the fact that 70% of Armed Forces personnel are in line of contact in trenches, we have already launched a process of transformation of our Armed Forces in accordance with NATO standards. One brigade has already been established, including mobile battalion that will be organized and trained through the OCC Evaluation and Feedback activities in order to meet the requirements for modern military operations in changing strategic environment. We will continue modification of our forces and adaptation of a new structure within Ministry of Defence, General Staff and subordinate commands in 2007 and 2008.

As a Nation actively participating in global efforts to counter terrorism, Azerbaijan attaches great importance to NATO’s Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism (PAPT). We are trying to build bilateral and multilateral cooperation both with Allies and Partners through this mechanism. Next month Azerbaijan will be hosting an EAPC Workshop on Terrorism, focusing on Partners contribution to NATO operations to combat terrorism and further improvement of integration of counter-terrorism aspects in training and exercises. The high quality of cooperation of Allies and Partners at all levels across the whole spectrum of the defence and security sector is crucial to the success of the international fight against terrorism.

Mr. Chairman,

The South Caucasus is the only region in the Euro-Atlantic area where the security and stability of nations still remains hostage to unsettled conflicts. This situation prevents the full realisation of Euro-Atlantic Partnership initiatives and activities in the region. We believe that international community, including NATO, has not by far employed its significant potential to address key security issues of our region.

In conclusion, I would like to underscore that the Republic of Azerbaijan remains committed to practically supporting the on-going NATO-led Crisis Response Operations and speaks in favour of open and constructive cooperation to combat international terrorism and aggressive separatism, to strengthen security, stability and peace in the whole Euro-Atlantic area and beyond.

Thank you very much for your attention.

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