Azerbaijan, U.S. to Expand Military Ties
    2011-11-22 03:50:37     Xinhua       Web Editor: Jiang

Azerbaijan and the United States will continue to expand military ties between them, according to a statement released by Azerbaijan President's press service on Monday.

According to the statement, Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev met with visiting U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus earlier in the day and both sides expressed satisfaction with development of bilateral relations between the two countries in various fields.

Both sides stressed that the two countries have been successfully cooperating in the military field as well and such cooperation would continue to expand.

Mabus, who concluded a three-day visit to Azerbaijan on Monday, also discussed with Aliyev security, energy and transport security issues. The U.S. official praised the participation of Azerbaijan in international peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan and the role of the country in provision of transport for international peacekeepers.

In Baku, Mabus also met with Azerbaijan's Minister of Defense Safar Abiyev and Commander of the Navy Vice Admiral Shahin Sultanov.

Azerbaijan is of interest to the Pentagon as it is an important energy supplier for the Europe and hosts supply routes for equipment moving in and out of Afghanistan, including thousands of military and commercial flights that cross its airspace and hundreds that fly in and out of Baku airport.

Earlier in Sept., 2011, the US defense department reportedly offered Azerbaijan 10 million U.S. dollars of military aid to help the maritime effort against terrorism.

The funding is part of a 44 million dollars Pentagon aid package to a number of countries including Tunisia, Malta, Lithuania and Hungary.

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