Azerbaijan continues cooperating with NATO and is holding reforms to integrate its standards, Azerbaijani Deputy Defense Minister, Lieutenant-General Kerem Valiyev said at a meeting with heads of leading Azerbaijani media on July 18.
Valiyev thus dismissed some media reports that Azerbaijan does not intend to integrate into the NATO and is returning to the post-Soviet, Russian military system.
"We are cooperating with NATO and moving in this direction," Valiyev said. "So far, seven representatives of the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry have served at the NATO headquarters, and soon their number will be increased to ten," he noted.
"Overall, 237 Azerbaijanis are receiving military training at various levels abroad. Most of them are being trained in NATO countries, including Turkey and the United States. Only a few of them are being trained in Russia," Valiyev said.
The deputy minister explained that Azerbaijan is using Russian military equipment, so there is a need of Azerbaijani servicemen to receive the Russian military education. This is while Azerbaijan continues to cooperate with NATO.
"We are acquiring new NATO systems, and use its tactics. We are definitely cooperating with NATO," the deputy minister said.
Commenting on the issue that Turkish military consultants are no longer working in the military structures of Azerbaijan, Valiyev said noted that the country continues its cooperation in Turkey at the highest level.
"Today, there is no need for Turkish consultants, but when necessary, we address to Turkish colleagues," Valiyev explained.