Opinion Azerbaijan: A Global Partner In Defense Of Peace And Prosperity – OpEd June 29, 2018 – Peter Tase

Since the establishment of its independence in October 1991, the Republic of Azerbaijan has rushed forward embracing the democratic values of the European Union and uniquely emerged as a stable, developing and secular Muslim-majority nation when Heydar Aliyev became its first President in 1993.

Over the years, Baku has harnessed a close cooperation with the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, especially in the fields of security, war against terrorism, and strengthening its democratic institutions.  It must be emphasized that Azerbaijan’s Armed Forces have served alongside with U. S. and NATO Forces for many years; their unwavering commitment has significantly delivered concrete results within the International Security Assistance Force operations in Afghanistan.

Furthermore, Azerbaijan is characterized for being the only Muslim country serving together with western allies and has become an important logistics hub for NATO troops as their supplies make their way to Afghanistan and Iraq.  Currently the Azerbaijani Armed Forces remain active despite of the overall troop drawdown.

Moreover the EU on its 2016 report entitled “A Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy” states: “… We will act globally to address the root causes of conflict and poverty, and to promote human rights.  … The EU will engage in a practical and principled way in peace building, concentrating our efforts in surrounding regions to the east and south, while considering engagement further afield on a case by case basis. The EU will foster human security through an integrated approach.”

While the Republic of Azerbaijan has genuinely contributed with troops and resources in the war against terrorism and organized crime, the European Union Global Strategy and Washington on the other hand have failed to properly address, incur a concrete progress and actively engage in the negotiations table intended to solve the ongoing war of Nagorno – Karabakh, were the Armenian Armed Forces continue to occupy over twenty percent of Azerbaijani sovereign territory and inflict pain, destruction and violence among Azerbaijani civilians and environment.

European Union’s goal in “implementing a multi-dimensional approach through the use of all available policies and instruments aimed at conflict prevention, management” has proved to be irrelevant, and Brussels has kept a prolonged silence when it comes to solving the Nagorno-Karabakh protracted war and ensure Azerbaijan’s full territorial sovereignty and hold Armenia accountable.

Moreover the ongoing conflicts in Afghanistan, Mali, Somalia and Syria, demonstrate EU’s and NATO’s diminished role towards becoming major players to solve and invest more resources in the de-escalation of the ongoing conflicts in the outskirts of Europe, Africa and the Mediterranean.

At a time when the EU and NATO continue to keep a blind eye towards the flagrant crimes against humanity committed by Yerevan’s Fascist Government inside the sovereign territory of Azerbaijan; the latter sent in 2017 a group of 70 Azerbaijani military troops to Afghanistan to serve with the NATO led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan, to provide a vital support in the stability and security of this country.

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