Baku. 7 December. REPORT.AZ/ Deputy Assistant Secretary for Defense Laura Cooper visited Baku December 4-6 for meetings with top Azerbaijani officials, including President Ilham Aliyev; Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, Minister of Defense; and Colonel General Elchin Guliyev, Chief of the State Border Service; and for bilateral defense consultations.
While in Baku, DASD Cooper said, “I am grateful for the commitment Azerbaijan has demonstrated to deepening ties between our two nations as the United States seeks to strengthen our alliances, build partnerships, and facilitate burden-sharing.”
DASD Cooper thanked Azerbaijan for being an essential partner in the global fight against terrorism and a strategic gateway between Europe and Asia. “The United States values Azerbaijan’s long-standing contributions to NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.
Noting some of the challenges Azerbaijan faces, DASD Cooper said, “Azerbaijan is situated in a difficult neighborhood. Most recently we have witnessed Moscow’s brazen violation of international law in Ukraine with its illegal and unprovoked harassment of maritime traffic attempting to transit the Kerch Strait. The United States is deeply concerned over the attack in the Black Sea as Ukrainian vessels transited international waters as they attempted to return home.”
DASD Cooper underlined the importance of mutual values as the United States and Azerbaijan deepen bilateral efforts to counter terrorism and transnational threats, including the proliferation of narcotics and weapons of mass destruction.
DASD Cooper reiterated the United States’ commitment, as a Co-Chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, to the peaceful resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the core principles of the Helsinki Final Act, including the non-use or threat of force, territorial integrity, and the equal rights and self-determination of peoples.