Statement by H.E. Mr. Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan
Brussels, 5 October 2016
Dear Federica Mogherini,
Dear Minister Rabbani,
Ladies and gentlemen,
As a country which itself strongly suffered from the 25 years unresolved conflict, Azerbaijan full-heartedly understands Afghanistan’s problems. We all have to extend to Afghanistan our support in all their endeavors and challenges.
Azerbaijan is among probably the first, closest, and most active supporters of Afghanistan to this end. We do it mostly bilaterally through the constant talks and meeting with Afghanistan authorities, but also through other international platforms, including at NATO.
We continue providing substantial training for Afghan security personnel, government employees, demining and other activities, including education. Less than a month ago, President Aliyev has approved Azerbaijan-Afghanistan agreement on multimillion assistance mostly in security area. Its implementation is already underway.
Our troops serve at the Resolute Support Mission and we rend financial assistance to Afghan Army through the NATO Trust Fund. My country is a major transit route for international operations in Afghanistan and at some point more than 30 percent of entire transit for ISAF was via Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan has always championed beefing up security efforts with economic development. Reviving ancient Silk Road can do exactly that. Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey are completing Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railroad, which in conjunction with a new international seaport near Baku and involvement of Central Asian countries will put Afghanistan right in the middle of the transit link between Far East and North Europe.
Azerbaijan committed to continue its full support to Afghan-led state and institution building as it is clearly indicated in the final communiqué of our today’s conference.