Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on Thursday that a Turkish military base could be created in Azerbaijan under the recently signed bilateral Shusha Declaration, aimed at strengthening defense partnership.
“This issue [Turkish military base in Azerbaijan] is not outside the provisions of the Shusha agreement. Further consideration of the issue is possible. The most important thing now is to ensure border security. The negotiations of [Azerbaijan President] Ilham Aliyev and [Russian President] Vladimir Putin can contribute to developing this topic, as well as our upcoming negotiations,” Erdogan told reporters, as quoted by Hurriyet newspaper.
Earlier, the 13th meeting of the Azerbaijani-Turkish High-Level Military Dialogue commenced in Baku on June 3 for a multifaceted discussion of the bilateral military cooperation, the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence said.
“On June 3, the 13th meeting of the Azerbaijani-Turkish High-Level Military Dialogue will start its work in Baku. The meeting will discuss the current state of bilateral cooperation between Azerbaijan and Turkey in the security, military, military-technical, military-medical, military-educational, defense industry, and in other spheres,” the ministry stated.
The previous 12th edition of the high-level dialogue was also hosted by Azerbaijan in 2019 and the one before that was hosted by Turkey in 2018, while no consultations were held in 2020.
Turkey and Azerbaijan have strong military cooperation that includes frequent joint drills and massive arms trade. Baku most recently procured Turkish drones Bayraktar, which is used in the armed conflict against the breakaway Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh last fall.
The next session of the Azerbaijan-Turkey High-Level Military Dialogue will be held next year in the Turkish capital of Ankara, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.
The Azerbaijan-Turkey High-Level Military Dialogue is a consultative agency, established in 2007. It convenes annually behind closed doors.
“The session focused on the current state of the bilateral cooperation in security, military sector, defense, military and medical sector, military and educational sector, military and industrial sector and other areas. We discussed the prospects of development and key areas of military and defense activities … The next meeting in this format is planned for 2022 in the Turkish capital of Ankara,” the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry said.