Baku hosts conference “NATO-Azerbaijan relations: perspectives for cooperation after NATO 2014 Wales summit”

Baku: The conference entitled “NATO-Azerbaijan relations: perspectives for cooperation in the aftermath of NATO 2014 Wales summit” was held on Baku on March 19.

The conference was organized by the Human Rights Institute of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences and the Embassy of Romania in Azerbaijan, which serves as NATO Resident Coordinator in Azerbaijan.

Addressing the event, Aytan Mustafayeva, the director of the Human Rights Institute, said Azerbaijan and NATO had done serious work in Afghanistan and in the fight against cyber crime.

Romanian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Daniel Cristian Ciobanu, in his speech, said that Romania, which has been the second country in the world to recognize Azerbaijan’s independence, considers that Azerbaijan is a very important and highly valued partner of the North-Atlantic alliance.

“The Ambassador also noted that relations between NATO and Azerbaijan are developing strongly and they have strategic value,” the ambassador noted.

Steffen Elgersma, the high-ranking official from the NATO Political Affairs and Security Policy Division, said Azerbaijan’s contribution to the operations in Afghanistan is one of the key aspects of NATO-Azerbaijan relations.

“Another aspect of cooperation includes the reform in the defense field. Compliance of Azerbaijani authorities with NATO standards, improvement of education is the priority in this regard. Energy security and preventing cyber attacks are new aspects in NATO-Azerbaijan relations. These relations are carried out on the basis of mutual choice,” he said.

William Lahue, NATO Liaison officer for the Caucasus said that a NATO training-assessment center to be created in Georgia can open up new cooperation opportunities for Azerbaijan as well: “The other issue within the Substantial Support Package is the establishment of the institute of defense. Its function and topics of trainings are under discussion. This will create new opportunities for the prospects of cooperation between Georgian and Azerbaijani armed forces. Azerbaijan will send military to take part in the exercises there.”

Noting that his country hosted the latest NATO summit, British Ambassador Irfan Siddiq listed the key outcomes of the summit. He said that the sides should work toward the fulfillment of the objectives by the next summit to be held in Warsaw in 2016.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY