TODAY.AZ / Politics

Turkey wants Azerbaijani army to be on par with NATO standards

14 May 2015 [17:26] - TODAY.AZ

/By AzerNews/

By Mushvig Mehdiyev

Azerbaijan's closest strategic ally, Turkey has once again voiced its ultimate support for its neighboring country. This time Ankara revealed the new aspect of its military cooperation with Baku - the Turkish leadership wants the Azerbaijani army to reach the best international standards.

"We want the Azerbaijani armed forces to advance to the level of NATO standards," Turkish Ambassador to Baku, Ismail Alper Coskun said.

Assessing the ongoing joint military drills of the Azerbaijani and Turkish armed forces, Coskun told local media that Turkey cooperates tightly with Azerbaijan in the field of military along with many other spheres.

"Over the last few years we have conducted similar military exercises. The main goal is to contribute to Azerbaijan's development in this field. The Turkish army is one of the strongest in NATO. Moving forward with our military cooperation we want to make our contribution to brother country Azerbaijan's military," he noted.

The Azerbaijani and Turkish armed forces have teamed up for the next four-day joint military drills in Azerbaijan's territory on May 12 on the sidelines of a military cooperation agreement.

The key purpose of the training that involves up to 1,000 personnel, 80 armored military equipment, over 60 artillery systems and mortars, alongside 12 combat and transport helicopters and air defense units is to improve the coordination between the Azerbaijani and Turkish armed forces through experience exchange.

The military brass of both countries also aim to achieve better interaction of their armed forces by developing joint planning activities, as well as combat skills developing for all units.

Expressing Turkey's interests in the region, particularly in view of the regional conflicts, Coskun voiced Ankara'a support for stability in the region.

"We are the supporters of ensuring stability and peace in the region. Our cooperation stands namely behind this purpose," he said.

Turkey has regularly reaffirmed that conflicts in the South Caucasus, most especially the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict have been a constant source of worry for Ankara as it seeks to promote peace in the region. The country's leadership views the resolution of conflicts in the neighboring South Caucasus region as an important issue in its foreign policy course. Ankara promises to intensify its efforts in view of resolving all matters of contentions and tensions in the region.

Azerbaijan's internationally recognized Nagorno-Karabakh territory became a conflict zone following Armenia's aggression in the early 1990s. As a result of Armenia's armed invasion, 20 percent of Azerbaijan's territory fell under Armenia's occupation.


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