Azerbaijan and NATO Parliament Assembly
Azerbaijan values the parliamentary dimension of its cooperation with the Alliance. The cooperation of Azerbaijan with NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) dates back to 1999, when Azerbaijan was granted observer status during NATO PA Session held in Poland. Since then Azerbaijan MPs contributed to fostering Azerbaijan-NATO PA cooperation by being involved in major events and participating in discussions on transatlantic security affairs, inter alia international cooperation against terrorism, security sector reform, developing military interoperability, NATO transformation, and role of NATO in security.
In 2002, NATO PA adopted a decision on granting Azerbaijan an associate member status. Today, the main forms of participation of Azerbaijani representatives in NATO PA activities are: involving and sharing of opinions in the Plenary Sessions of the Assembly held twice a year, Committee and Sub-Committee meetings and visits, NATO PA New Parliamentarians Programme, as well as annual Parliamentary Transatlantic Forums and Rose-Roth seminars.
Along with actively involvement in NATO PA Rose-Roth seminars held in other states by its MPs, Azerbaijan has hosted three such seminars. On 25-27 November 2004, the 58th NATO PA Rose-Roth Seminar on “Security in the South Caucasus”. NATO-Azerbaijan relations and its perspectives, Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, its implications on regional stability and political, economic and social development, the role of international community in the settlement process of this conflict, Caspian Sea energy resources and their transportation to European markets and other related issues have been among the top issues discussed during the seminar.
On 6-8 March 2008, the 68th NATO PA Rose-Roth Seminar on “Security in Caspian Region”. Security, political and economic development in the Caspian region and Central Asia, energy security and other issues relevant to the region were discussed during the seminar. Furthermore, the participants exchanged views on the region’s geographical location and its effects on the policy and practice of regional powers, situation in Afghanistan, developing market economy, state building process in Central Asia.
On 16-18 June 2014, the 85th NATO PA Rose-Roth Seminar on “South Caucasus: Challenges and Opportunities”. Azerbaijan’s foreign and security priorities and Euro-Atlantic integration, Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict, its settlement process, security sector reforms in Azerbaijan, the Crimean crisis: implications for the South Caucasus, energy security: new opportunities in the Caucasus and Caspian regions, Afghanistan post-2014: supporting domestic and regional stability and other relevant regional issues were discussed within the framework of this seminar.
Mutual visits, meetings on the issues of common interest, consultations and deliberations at different levels contribute to strengthen partnership of Azerbaijan Parliament (Milli Mejlis) with NATO PA.
The NATO PA Sub-Committee on East-West Economic Co-operation and Convergence visited Azerbaijan on 12-14 May, 1999. During the visit NATO PA delegates and Azerbaijani officials discussed the security landscape of Azerbaijan, Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict and its negative affects to the population and security of the region, energy security, Azerbaijan’s energy policy, political and economic foundations of development and macro-economic conditions in Azerbaijan.
The President of NATO PA Rafael Estrella (Spain) together with the Assembly Secretary General, Simon Lunn, made a visit to Azerbaijan on 17-19 January, 2002 and met the senior officials. The visit was in response to the invitation from the Speaker of the Azerbaijan Parliament (Milli Mejlis). The visit has played an indispensable role in shifting Azerbaijan’s membership in NATO PA from observer status into associate member status.
Following the NATO PA President’s visit, fifteen members of the NATO PA Sub-Committee on Democratic Governance of the Committee on the Civil Dimension of Security visited Azerbaijan on 16-17 September, 2002, to exchange views about the political, social, economic and security situation in the country. The visit took place on the eve of the opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, at the invitation of Ziyafat Asgerov, Deputy Speaker of the Milli Mejlis. The NATO PA delegates held discussions on Azerbaijan-NATO and NATO PA relations, possibility of granting Azerbaijan associate membership at the NATO PA, as well as regional security issues and relations with neighbor countries.
On the eve of the 68th Rose-Roth Seminar on "Security in the Caspian Region", in March 2008, NATO's next President, Jose Lello, visited Azerbaijan. During the visit, Mr. Lello held meetings with the President of Azerbaijan, the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers and exchanged views on regional security issues.
From 12 to 14 April 2010, the NATO PA Political Committee’s Subcommittee on NATO Partnerships visited Baku. A total of 14 parliamentarians from 8 NATO nations attended the visit to familiarize themselves with the latest situation in the country and the region. The NATO PA delegation held meetings with senior officials during the visit, including Foreign Affairs and Defense Ministers, head of the Azerbaijani delegation to NATO PA, and visited the Peacekeeping Battalion of Azerbaijan. During the visit, the sides exchanged views on issues such as Azerbaijan-NATO relations, regional security issues, including relations with neighboring countries, energy security.
On 12-14 September 2018, the Delegation of the Subcommittee on Transition and Development of the NATO PA Committee for Economic and Security Affairs visited Baku to discuss issues of regional security and stability, as well as energy security. Within the framework of the visit, the NATO PA delegation led by the President of the Assembly Mr. Paolo Alli met with the senior officials of Azerbaijan and discussed the NATO-Azerbaijan cooperation as well as regional security issues.