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Georgian, Turkish, Azerbaijani defense chiefs agree to improve cooperation

In 8th trilateral defense ministers meeting, countries stress importance of joint military drills, strategic dialogue

Ruslan Rehimov, David Kachkachishvili, and Sarp Ozer   | 05.10.2021
Georgian, Turkish, Azerbaijani defense chiefs agree to improve cooperation Turkish National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar, (R) accompanied with Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov (L) and Georgian Defense Minister Juansher Burchuladze (C) attend a press conference after the Defense ministers' meeting of Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan, in Tbilisi, Georgia on October 05, 2021. ( Arif Akdogan - Anadolu Agency )

TBILISI / TELAVI, Georgia

Georgian, Turkish, and Azerbaijani defense ministers on Tuesday underlined the significance of trilateral cooperation in regional security, peace, and stability.

The cooperation in the field of defense among the three countries is of crucial importance for the stability of the whole region, said Juansher Burchuladze in a news conference following the 8th Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan Defense Ministers Meeting with Hulusi Akar and Zakir Hasanov in the Georgian capital Tbilisi.

At the end of the meeting, the defense chiefs inked the Trilateral Meeting Final Statement which mainly focuses on further improving cooperation among the three countries.

Referring to the geostrategic importance of the region, Burchuladze said he believes that the only possible alternative to solve the present disputes is through peace, and added that the aim is to preserve and maintain security and stability of the region through joint efforts.

He emphasized the significance of trilateral and multinational military drills, recalling the drill participated by Azerbaijani and Turkish soldiers, Indestructible Brotherhood 2021, currently taking place in Georgia.

The training of the Indestructible Brotherhood 2021 exercise to be held in Nakhchivan with the participation of Azerbaijan has been carried out successfully, Turkey's National Defense Ministry said on Twitter.

Noting that another drill is soon to be held in his country, Burchuladze said Turkey and Azerbaijan are also invited to participate in the exercise and added that the friendship and unity will last among the three countries.

On his part, Hasanov said the meeting with his Turkish and Georgian counterparts is a clear example of the strategic-level trilateral dialogue.

The ways to improve the relations among the three neighboring and friendly countries through bilateral and trilateral ways were discussed during the meeting, he added.

They also discussed that the terrorist and separatist activities in the region pose a direct threat to the peace, stability, and economic development, as well as the security of international activities, Hasanov said.

He noted the importance of solving conflicts through the principles of international law, especially in line with the UN, Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and European Council decisions, based on respect towards territorial integrity and internationally recognized borders.

Hasanov underlined that the trilateral activities of Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan should be considered a peaceful message for the preservation of stability, and voiced agreement on the decision to carry out more joint military drills to reach reconciliation among the military troops.

Akar and Burchuladze met ahead of the meeting in the Telavi province. During the meeting, the two sides discussed cooperation in the fields of defense and security.

During the meeting, Akar said Turkey and Georgia are two strategic partner countries with common geographical, historical, and cultural ties.

Akar stressed the need to further increase cooperation in the fields of military education and the defense industry.

He noted that the Eternity-2021 military exercises, held with the participation of Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Georgia, continue successfully.

He also urged sides to increase joint exercises and personnel exchange practices for training and experience sharing.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed that the next Georgia-Turkey-Azerbaijan defense ministers meeting will be held in Turkey in 2022.

In a separate meeting between the Turkic defense ministers, Akar said a project, called the Fraternal Brigade, was launched to increase the interoperability between Turkey and Azerbaijan, as well as educational planning and administration.

He also voiced his content over relations among the three countries which "keep improving day by day" and said he hopes the meeting will set an example for other countries in the region.

"I believe that the meeting we held in Georgia, an important country in Caucasia, will provide significant benefits to our countries and armed forces," Akar said. "We had an opportunity to evaluate all our relations, especially in defense and security."

* Writing by Dilan Pamuk and Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara

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