Word of Welcome by the
Head of Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to NATO
Welcome to the website of the Mission of the Republic of Azerbaijan to NATO. I hope that by visiting our website you will learn more about dynamically developing partnership between Azerbaijan and the North Atlantic Alliance.
Since Azerbaijan regained its independence at the end of 1991 integration into European and Euro-Atlantic political, security and economic institutions has always been and continues to be one of its main foreign policy priorities. NATO-Azerbaijan Partnership that started gaining momentum after President Heydar Aliyev had signed the PfP Framework Document in May of 1994, plays an important role in this regard.
Azerbaijan actively engages in the Euro-Atlantic processes on the basis of common democratic values such as promotion and protection of human rights, the rule of law, free market economy and respect for international law. We believe that the Euro-Atlantic integration enlarges the boundaries of democracy, stability and prosperity throughout our continent. In this context it is hard to overestimate the importance of the basic principles underlying our Partnership, in particular those pertaining to sovereignty, territorial integrity and inviolability of borders, which continue to be the cornerstones of the European security architecture of the new millennium.
Azerbaijan, considering EAPC/PfP cooperation as one of the key building blocks of that architecture aspires to integrational partnership and enhanced bilateral dialogue with the Alliance. It is the unique character and advantage of the Euro-Atlantic Partnership that allows for both political consultations and the development of interoperability and capabilities to engage in joint actions against threats and challenges to the security in the twenty first century.
NATO's particular role in these efforts cannot be overestimated. Materialized commitment in the Balkans, undertaken responsibilities for the security and stability of Afghanistan and NATO's assistance in Iraq are the vivid proof of the determination of the Alliance to strengthen security and stability throughout the Euro-Atlantic area and beyond. In this context I should like to note that Azerbaijani soldiers along with their colleagues from the Alliance and partner nations serve a noble cause of peace in KFOR and ISAF, as well as in international coalition in Iraq.
The NATO/EAPC Summit held in 2002 in Prague equipped us with new instruments - Individual Partnership Action Plan and Partnership Action Plan against Terrorism with the view of further promoting practical, result-oriented cooperation between interested Partners and NATO. The NATO Summit in Istanbul two years later adopted a specific decision on refocusing Alliance interest to the strategically important regions of the South Caucasus and the Central Asia. In May of 2004 roughly ten years after Azerbaijan's accession to the PfP President Ilham Aliyev submitted IPAP's Presentation Document to the NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer thus bringing Azerbaijan's cooperation with NATO to a qualitatively new level.
Risks and challenges to security in the today's world are multifaceted and require not only a common perception but also a concerted action. On its part, Azerbaijan is prepared to make practical contribution to this security and in this regard counts on its cooperation with NATO.