NATO-sponsored training program begins in Azerbaijan

Associated Press Worldstream
March 15, 2004 Monday 5:42 AM Eastern Time

NATO-sponsored training program begins in Azerbaijan

BAKU, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s land forces began a four-day NATO-sponsored training
exercise Monday on border control, defense officials said.

Turkey is leading the exercise as part of NATO’s Partnership for
Peace program, aimed at boosting ties between the military alliance
and states of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

Mammad Beydullayev of Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry said the program
would familiarize Azerbaijani military commanders with methods to
prevent border incursions, steps for fighting the trafficking of
drugs, illegal immigrants and weapons and ways to control the flow of
refugees and ensure security.

The Turkish Embassy in Azerbaijan said it was organizing the program
to help this ex-Soviet republic bring its military up to NATO

A similar training program was carried out last week in Georgia, and
plans are underway to bring the program to other nations.

Azerbaijan shares borders with Russia, Georgia, Armenia and Iran.