Azerbaijan: Entire Armed Forces Brought Under NATO Standards
Trend News Agency
October 30, 2012
Defense ministry: Azerbaijani Armed Forces brought to conformity with NATO standards
Baku: The entire staff structure of the Azerbaijani Armed Forces has been brought into conformity with NATO standards, head of the Defense Ministry press service Eldar Sabiroglu told media today.
“Azerbaijani officers in NATO headquarters serve as NATO officers and the number of these officers is growing,” he said.
Sabiroglu said that Azerbaijan has its military attaches and representatives in 21 countries and cooperates with 53 countries in the military sphere.
“The High Military School in Azerbaijan is so developed that students from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan study here,” he said. “Several other countries have also appealed regarding sending their students.”
Information on Azerbaijan-NATO cooperation
Azerbaijan was among the first countries from the former Soviet Union, who joined the Partnership for Peace (PFP) programme of NATO. The President of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Heydar Aliyev signed the PFP Framework Document on the accession to PFP during his official visit to NATO HQ on 4 May 1994.
In order to determine the areas of future cooperation with NATO, Azerbaijan prepared the PFP Presentation document and submitted it to the Alliance in April 1996. Bilateral partnership incorporated such spheres as military cooperation, defence modernization, democratic control of the armed forces, political consultations on security issues, peace support operations, security sector reform, civil emergency planning, security related scientific, economic and environmental cooperation.
Since 1996, on the basis of its Presentation Document and Partnership Work Programme prepared by the NATO, Azerbaijan has been annually adopting Individual Partnership Programme (IPP), which includes all joint activities and events to be attended by national military and civilian representatives. Annually expanding the scope of its Individual Partnership Programme, Azerbaijan participated in more than 250 NATO/PFP activities and events in 2007. This number is one of the highest in the ranking among the Partner Nations and the highest one in the South Caucasus.
In 2006, Government of Azerbaijan increased financing of the PFP Programme from 300 000 USD to 850 000 USD. In 2007 this figure was increased to 1.8 million USD. In 2008 it was approximately 2 million USD.
In 1997 Azerbaijan joined the Planning and Review Process (PARP). PARP related activities were aimed at engaging Azerbaijan more closely to NATO’s defence planning for operations. Since then Azerbaijani Armed Forces are undertaking increasing number of so-called Partnership Goals (PG) based on two-year cycles . PG are focused on achieving military interoperability with NATO troops through introduction of NATO’s political-military, military, training and technical standards.
In 2002 Azerbaijan proposed to extend PfP cooperation to broader security sector issues such as the defence against terrorism, the modernization of the State Border Service and transformation of Internal Troops. At the moment, Azerbaijan has undertaken more than 50 Partnership Goals, mainly related to national defence and security sectors.
In 2002 NATO/EAPC Prague Summit adopted Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) instrument in order to improve cooperation with the Partner nations. In May 2003 Azerbaijan formally applied for joining the IPAP. In May 2004 President of Azerbaijan H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev officially submitted the IPAP Presentation Document to the Alliance, which included comprehensive information on the current status of political, economic and security developments in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan and NATO elaborated and approved the Individual Partnership Action Plan (IPAP) in May 2005, on the basis of this Presentation Document. The IPAP covers all major political, defence, security and security related economic, scientific and environmental spheres. IPAP implementation and update is based on two-year cycles and annual assessment reports, which are considered at the level of North Atlantic Council +Azerbaijan.
In August 2007 Azerbaijan has completed first IPAP cycle. The new IPAP document was approved in March 2008. Since the adoption of the first IPAP of Azerbaijan in May 2005 real steps have been made towards its successful implementation, including in the sphere of security sector reform. Taking together all the fields of cooperation, progress of Azerbaijan on implementation of IPAP has been considerable.
- Special Presidential decree was issued to task the State Commission, which is composed of the heads of various Ministries, with IPAP’s implementation and defining resources. Since then budget allocations for IPAP and PFP activities have considerably increased.
- The progress has been made in the implementation of the most IPAP goals, including those events, which were added and amended during the modification of the IPAP document in Autumn 2006. The work has also begun on the elimination of the shortcomings in the field of controlling, directing and planning of the IPAP process.
- Work on the National Security Concept has been completed and it was subsequently endorsed by the Government and Parliament on 19 May 2007. The work on the Military doctrine is close to finalisation. These two fundamental documents will guide the Strategic Defence Review of the security sector.
- Despite the on-going conflict, the process of gradual transformation of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan has been started. Structural changes on the basis of NATO standarts are under way within MOD, General Staff and army units. It is planned to complete this process in 2009 integrating needs and requirements identified within the Strategic Defence Review (SDR).
- Appropriate measures are being taken for gradual transformation of the State Border Service (SBS) from military strucuture into a law-enforcement type of organization. Considerable work has been done for the reinforcement of technical capabilities and improvement of human resources management within the State Border Service.
- Azerbaijan has already integrated NATO standards into the national military education and training system.
- Amendments to the national legislation are being prepared on the establishment of practical policy related to the career development of civilian personal within the defence system. This will contribute to further strengthening of civilian control on the armed forces.
- Cooperation in the field of Public Diplomacy and Science, as well as the Trust Fund Project on the cleaning of the unexploded munitions have been continuning with success. The foundation of the Euro-Atlantic Centre within the Azerbaijan State Library in Baku, official registration of NISA (NATO International School of Azerbaijan) as an NGO, the beginning of the implemention of the project of Melange conversion and the conclusion of the second cycle of NATO PFP Saloglu Project (the cleaning of 600 hectars of land of Agstafa region of Azerbaijan from unexploded artillery shells and other ammunition) are the main issues in this direction.
Republic of Azerbaijan is following closely the future development of Partnership with NATO and continuesly contributes to its expansion to wider areas.
With regard to the future of the Partnership and the policy of NATO in the region, Azerbaijan considers that the security in Euro-Atlantic area depends on improvement of the capacity of crises management, creation of secure transport corridors, and development of energy security. All of these are essential for the development of Partnership as an institution. The development of Partnership has to give opportunity for the development of security cooperation with NATO on the basis of 3 pillars: political unanimity, legal harmony, practical interoperability.
Against the background of the increasing global role of NATO and on the basis of the principles provided for in the Partnership for Peace Framework Document, such development has to ensure security guarantees to Partners, which actively share European values and respect international law.
Providing security guarantees would prevent the violation of international law and promote stability in international relations.
Please see the official MFA of Republic of Azerbaijan and NATO websites for more information: