05:14 GMT +324 October 2017

    Azerbaijani defense minister welcomes Ukrainian counterpart

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    BAKU, June 2 (RIA Novosti) - Ukrainian Defense Minister Yuriy Ekhanurov met with his Azerbaijan counterpart, Safar Abiev, as he began a two-day visit to the Caucasus state on Monday, the Azerbaijani defense ministry said.

    Ekhanurov is also scheduled to have talks with Azerbaijan's president, prime-minister and the chairman of the country's parliament, as well as visit a military training facility and the Military Academy of Azerbaijan.

    The two defense ministers discussed military and technical cooperation during their meeting.

    "During the meetings the parties exchanged views concerning the prospects for military and technical cooperation, and a number of other issues of bilateral interest," the ministry said in a statement.

    Abiev said that "Azerbaijan has always considered Ukraine its close friend and a strategic partner."

    After leaving Azerbaijan, Ekhanurov is due to travel to Georgia on June 4.

    Ukraine and Georgia, backed by the U.S., have long been seeking NATO membership.

    Azerbaijan, Ukraine and Georgia are also members of the Commonwealth of Independent States, comprising 11 former Soviet republics, including Russia.

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