By Ofeliya Afandiyeva
Azerbaijani Defence Minister Zakir Hasanov and Ambassador of Pakistan Saeed Khan Mohmand, who is completing his diplomatic mission, have discussed military cooperation and close ties between the two countries.
During the meeting, it was noted that military cooperation is in the interests of both countries, and it is important to intensify efforts in this direction. Recent redevelopments in the regions where the two countries are located, were also discussed by the officials. In addition, the sides shared views on conducting joint military exercises with the involvement of various types of troops, including Special Forces of Azerbaijan and Pakistan, organization of mutual visits of servicemen to exchange experience.
Noting the development of cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan in all areas of defense, Hasanov expressed confidence that this cooperation will continue in the future.
Touching upon the military-political situation in the region, Hasanov expressed gratitude for Pakistan's support of Azerbaijan's position in settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the international organizations and stressed that Azerbaijan also supports the territorial integrity of Pakistan.
In his turn, the diplomat emphasized that in spite of the long distance between two countries from a geographical standpoint, friendly relations have historically been formed between both nations. The Pakistani Ambassador stressed the great potential for military cooperation between the two countries.
Moreover, the sides exchanged views on cooperation in the military, military-technical and military-educational fields. It was underlined that military cooperation between the countries was built upon friendly and fraternal relations and is mutually beneficial for both sides.
During the fifth meeting of the working group on military cooperation between Azerbaijan and Pakistan in Islamabad in 2004, the countries signed an agreement on mutual military cooperation.
Over the past decade, Pakistani military experts trained about a hundred Azerbaijani military units.
Azerbaijan is holding talks with Pakistan to purchase JF-17 Thunder fighter bomber aircraft. In 2019–2020, the mass production of JF-17 Block 3 fighters is scheduled. Azerbaijan is interested in purchasing Super Mushak bomber aircraft.
It should be noted that Pakistan is one of the first countries, which officially recognized the independence of Azerbaijan (December 12, 1991) and diplomatic relations between countries were established on June 9, 1992.
Note that Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate of Pakistan recognized the Khojaly Massacre committed by Armenian forces in 1992, referring to it as genocide in 2012.