Brussels, 5 May 2022 (TDI): The NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for the Caucasus and Central Asia, Javier Colomina visited Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia in the South Caucasus last week.
He met with Armenia’s President and Prime Minister, Georgia’s Prime Minister, and Azerbaijan’s President, as well as other top government officials, for political meetings.
In Georgia, he also attended a session of the Parliament’s Security and Defence Committee and spoke with civil society groups.
The focus of the deliberations was on regional security issues and the prospects for further political dialogue and practical cooperation with these important partner countries.
Particularly in light of Russia’s unprovoked and brutal invasion of Ukraine and the final preparations for the NATO Summit in Madrid in 2022, which will take place at the end of June.
Since his appointment in September 2021, he has made two official trips to the South Caucasus. The cooperation of Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia with NATO is mutually beneficial.
It includes building capabilities and interoperability, support for NATO-led operations and missions, and wider cooperation. In several sectors, including security, defense reform, and counter-terrorism, Azerbaijan collaborates with its allies and other partner countries.
The country’s reform efforts are a top priority. Armenia participates in the NATO-led operation and collaborates with its allies and other partners in a variety of sectors.
NATO’s first aim is to improve political interaction and give targeted advice and assistance in support of Armenia’s democratic, institutional, and defense reform efforts. Georgia is one of NATO’s most important allies. It seeks to become a member of the Alliance.
NATO and Georgia have created a broad spectrum of practical cooperation throughout time, which helps Georgia’s reform efforts and its objective of Euro-Atlantic integration.
In addition to participating in the NATO-led operation Sea Guardian, the country collaborates with the Allies and other partner countries in a variety of other areas.
The Special Representative of the NATO Secretary-General is in charge of carrying out the Alliance’s policy in the two strategically important regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
The Special Representative advises the Secretary-General on how to best fulfill NATO’s aims in the two regions, as well as how to effectively address NATO’s partners’ security concerns.
He is in charge of the overall coordination of NATO’s partnership policy in the two regions, and he collaborates closely with regional leaders to improve the Alliance’s collaboration.
In the Caucasus, NATO works with Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia which are effectively the South Caucasus; and in Central Asia: Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The Special Representative also provides high-level support to the NATO Liaison Officers for the South Caucasus and Central Asia, based in Tbilisi, Georgia, and Tashkent, Uzbekistan, respectively.
He collaborated closely with NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative in Afghanistan to ensure that NATO’s Central Asia policy complemented NATO’s mission in Afghanistan.
He consults with top officials from partner countries in the two regions on their overall reform process and how to best use NATO partnership mechanisms to carry out those reforms.
He also communicates with members of the international community and other international organizations working in the two regions to ensure that assistance programs are coordinated.
Through engagement with the media and civil society in the two regions, the Special Representative also fosters knowledge of NATO and security problems in general.
Following the decision by NATO Allies at the Istanbul Summit in June 2004 to place a special focus on the strategically vital regions of the Caucasus and Central Asia, the position of Special Representative was formed on an ad hoc basis.
Enhanced liaison arrangements, including the appointment of the Special Representative and two NATO Liaison Officers, one for each zone, were a crucial component of this special focus.
The NATO Liaison Officer for Central Asia position was later eliminated in 2017 due to funding constraints. NATO, on the other hand, continues to maintain and improve its political dialogue and practical relations with its five Central Asian partners; practical liaison is now handled by NATO Headquarters and NATO military structures.