Estonia and Azerbaijan enter into MoU concerning defence co-operation

05. detsember 2007

The Estonian Minister of Defence, Mr. Jaak Aaviksoo, and the Minister of Defence of Azerbaijan, Lieutenant General Safar Abijev, entered into a bilateral memorandum of understanding concerning defence co-operation today.

The memorandum of understanding specifies different spheres of defence co-operation between the two countries and also provides solid ground for future enhanced co-operation.


“I am happy to say that this Memorandum will also provide legitimate basis for defence co-operation between Estonian and Azerbaijan,” said Mr. Aaviksoo.


Lieutenant General Abijev provided a short overview of Azerbaijan’s NATO aspirations and reforms, whilst also shedding some light on the tense security situation in Transcaucasia, including Nagorno-Karabakh.


“The training of the Azerbaijan armed forces and officers is completed in accordance with NATO standards,” Lieutenant General Abijev said.


The Minister of Defence, Mr. Abijev, also provided an overview of Azerbaijan’s peace securing operations in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq


The Minister of Defence, Mr. Aaviksoo, described the lack of resolution in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, like the ‘frozen’ conflicts in Abkhazia, Ossetia and Transnistria, as unacceptable.


“It is regrettable that international organisations have not given sufficient attention to these sources of tension,” Mr. Aaviksoo stated. “We do hope that the international public can impose pressure on those countries who are still interested in prolonging such tension.”


The parties to the meeting also briefly discussed the Gabala radar station in Azerbaijan, which, according to Mr. Abijev, is being rented by Russia until 2012.


During the visit, Lieutenant General Safar Abijev will also meet the President Mr. Toomas-Hendrik Ilves, the Commander of the Defence Forces, Major General Ants Laaneots, the Chairman of the National Defence Committee, and the Estonian-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce.


This visit represents the first high-level, defence-related visit between Estonia and Azerbaijan.


The delegation of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence will depart from Estonia tomorrow.