Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan, at NATO ISAF Ministerial Meeting
Brussels, December 5, 2012
Dear Mr. Secretary General,
First of all, let me welcome my good friend Minister Rassoul here. I would also like to thank General Allen for his service.
Since our last meeting in this format and the recent meeting of Defence Ministers, two issues popped up as a priority for us: post-2014 mission in Afghanistan and redeployment.
As a reliable and committed NATO partner, my country, is a potential operational partner for the post-ISAF mission allocated funds and possesses necessary capabilities to contribute to “train, advise and support” efforts. In fact, we have already started doing that in some areas.
As for the redeployment, let me remind that my country accounted for 35 percent of all non-lethal transit to ISAF and today provides its infrastructure for redeployment with a serious potential to add. Recently, Azerbaijan together with Turkey and Georgia made a presentation on Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad and a new sea and airports in Azerbaijan at North Atlantic Council in ISAF format.
At the same time, we also believe that presented Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad and a new sea port in Azerbaijan will have a strategic impact beyond redeployment. They will revive a Silk Road, which has historically been an important element for development and prosperity in the region. Our Afghan friends will be the first to benefit from that. And this is our primary goal.
People of Afghanistan well know that Azerbaijan remains committed to the common cause not only in this format but also bilaterally and we will do our utmost to achieve ultimate success.