Azerbaijan not to join any military coalition including NATO

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-5-23 14:59:59

Azerbaijan is not going to join any military coalition for the time being, spokesman for the country' s Foreign Ministry Elman Abdullayev told local media on Tuesday.

According to Abdullayev, Azerbaijan has joined the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and will not join any military block.

"Currently Azerbaijan is loyal to its independent policy and it is not going to join any military block, including NATO. At the same time Azerbaijan pursues the course of integration into the Euro-Atlantic Institutions. Membership and integration are rather different things," he explained.

Last year, commenting on Azerbaijan's integration into NAM, the country's Foreign Ministry spokesman Elxan Poluxov said that the decision to join NAM does not contradict Baku's European integration ambitions, which have always been limited in scope.

Addressing the meeting of heads of state and government on Afghanistan on Monday in Chicago, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said "Azerbaijan will continue its peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan until the end of 2014 and beyond, if it's necessary."

"Since the early years Azerbaijan has made every effort to ensure peace and security in Afghanistan," said the Azeri leader.

Azerbaijan and its neighbor Georgia are important transit countries for US and NATO troops and supplies to Afghanistan via a network of ports and railroads, which is known as the Northern Distribution Network.

Azerbaijan contributed a platoon to the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan in 2002 with the aim of contributing to provision of peace, security and order in Afghanistan.

Posted in: Europe

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