Georgian, Azerbaijani Defence Ministers discuss cooperation

Georgia’s Defense Minister and his Azerbaijan counterpart in Tbilisi on August 18, 2014; Photo by MoD., 18 Aug 2014 - 17:52, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Defense Minister Irakli Alasania is in Azerbaijan with his counterpart discussing region security cooperation.

Today Alasania has met the Minister of Defence of Azerbaijan General-Colonel Zakir Hasanov in Nakhchivan city, the capital of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic, said the press office of the Georgian Ministry of Defence.

The parties discussed the prospects of future cooperation in the defensive sphere. In particular, the two ministers outlined bilateral cooperation between the countries would be strengthened in the future.

Later it is expected Alasania will attend a trilateral meeting with his Azerbaijan and Turkish counterparts.

Earlier today before visiting Azerbaijan, Alasania said the trilateral meeting of Defense Ministers would focus on discussing joint measures to provide protection to regional energy and transport infrastructure in "critical situations".

"[We] have been preparing this trilateral meeting for a long time. As you are aware the Georgian side put this initiative forward last year. This will be first formal meeting of the three Defense Ministers in Azerbaijan,” Alasania noted.

Georgia’s Defence Minister outlined that meeting would be only about security and self-defence and "not against anyone”.

"On the contrary, such agreements create additional foundation for regional stability,” he said.

"This meeting and consequent agreement will be about planning how these three countries and their armed forces will protect our communication infrastructure in critical situations – protection of our oil and gas pipelines, as well as railway network in case of military escalation,” Alasania said.

Meanwhile Azerbaijan's Defence Minister paid an official visit to Tbilisi on May 29.

Presidents of the three countries held the first trilateral summit in Tbilisi on May 6 where they pledged to further boost ties between the nations.