LINKS Director suggests “NATO PfP plus” for Azerbaijan

The European Policy Centre (EPC) in Brussels on Friday, 16 March 2012, hosted a round table discussion on the theme “Azerbaijan and the Euro-Atlantic Security Architecture”. Speakers at the event were HE Khazar Ibrahim, Head of the Mission of Azerbaijan to NATO, NATO’s Special Representative to the South Caucasus and Central Asia, James Appathurai, Peter Semneby, EU Special Representative for the South Caucasus and Dennis Sammut, LINKS Director.

The meeting, which was chaired by EPC Senior Analyst Amanda Paul, was well attended by representatives of EU institutions, diplomats and representatives of the think-tank community in Brussels.

In his presentation Dennis Sammut spoke about the specifity of NATO’s relations with the South Caucasus region where one country (Georgia) wants full membership, another (Armenia) is a member of another military alliance, whilst Azerbaijan wants close relations short of membership. The speaker highlighted the strategic importance of Azerbaijan and advocated an arrangement whereby Azerbaijan could be offered a “PfP plus” arrangement that would see it develop further its relationship with the alliance, whilst adhering to its policy of balancing interests in what everyone agrees is a difficult neighbourhood.

The round table was the second in a series of three being organised by the European Policy Centre that look at NATO’s relations with the three South Caucasus countries.

A report of the event prepared by the European policy Centre is available here