Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze is visiting Azerbaijan on December 21-23, where he has met President of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev and his counterpart Zakir Hasanov.
Minister Burchuladze and Azerbaijani President during their December 21 meeting focused on bilateral defense cooperation as well as trilateral cooperation with Turkey, the Georgian Defense Ministry reported.
The Georgian defense official stressed that a developed and stable Azerbaijan is of crucial importance for regional security, according to the same report. He also discussed with the Azerbaijani President Georgia’s Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative, to facilitate dialogue and confidence-building in the South Caucasus.
In a brief statement, President Aliyev’s administration said the two officials hailed the development of bilateral relations including in terms of military cooperation and expressed confidence Minister Burchuladze’s visit to Baku would contribute to the further expansion of ties between the two countries.
On December 22, Minister Burchuladze and his Azerbaijani counterpart Colonel General Zakir Hasanov touched on cooperation in the context of multinational military exercises as well as trilateral drills together with Turkey, according to the Georgian Defense Ministry. They also discussed cooperation in the field of military education.
The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported that Colonel General Hasanov told his Georgian counterpart that cooperation at a high level between the two countries is crucial for ensuring security in the South Caucasus region.
The two officials also signed a defense cooperation plan for 2022.
The Defense Minister’s visit to Baku comes after Georgian Prime Minister hosted Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinyan in Tbilisi on December 20, discussing among others the Peaceful Neighborhood Initiative. The format, unveiled by the PM at the UN General Assembly, would bring together Tbilisi, Baku and Yerevan for talks, with the participation of the U.S. and the EU.
Earlier in May, Georgia and the U.S. brokered a deal between Azerbaijan and Armenia, involving Baku’s release of 15 Armenian prisoners of war in exchange for getting from Yerevan a map of landmines.
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