|Date: 07/09/2012 Time: 06:34:00 PM
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen
commended Azerbaijan for its progress in defence reforms and called for closer
security cooperation during his first visit to the country on Friday, said a
Rasmussen thanked Azerbaijan for its participation in the NATO-led mission
in Afghanistan and relayed the Alliance's appreciation for the country's
additional support given to NATO operations, through over flight and transit
Azerbaijan is also helping to fund the training of Afghan security forces.
Rasmussen also expressed his appreciation to Azerbaijan's intention to
continue to support Afghanistan after the ISAF mission ends in 2014.
"Our relations are developing steadily and positively," the Secretary
General said after talks with President Ilham Alyiev.
Azerbaijan is a "valuable partner for NATO," and stressed that the Alliance
was determined to build closer ties.
The NATO chief also raised the issue of regional stability in a speech to
the Azeri Diplomatic Academy. He urged Azerbaijan and Armenia to reconcile.
"The only way forward is through dialogue, compromise, and cooperation," he