The Azerbaijan-NATO partnership at 20

In 1994, Azerbaijan was still actively seeking opportunities for international engagement. NATO, as the only Euro-Atlantic military alliance, was the natural choice, as demonstrated by the signing of the framework document the same year. But at that time, the actual substance of the partnership remained unclear; generating substantive mechanisms for cooperation was itself a process. Today, the dynamics have changed radically, as reflected in this declaration by NATO Secretary General Rasmussen: “Azerbaijan is a country of pivotal importance for Europe’s energy security and to peace and stability in the Caucasus.” In turn, President Aliyev has stated that “during the years of cooperation, these 20 years of our membership of the Partnership for Peace Programme, our relations have been elevated to a level of strategic cooperation.”

Authors: Khazar Ibrahim