News 9 january — 15:40

Foreign Ministry on Azerbaijan's accession to Islamic NATO (Updated)

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BY INFORMATION SECTION

Azerbaijan's Foreign Ministry denied reports by the Pakistani media about Azerbaijan joining the Islamic military alliance.

'This question is not on Azerbaijan's foreign policy agenda. At various times, in the framework of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation there have been voiced different opinions on this issue. Each proposal is analysed in detail by Azerbaijan,' said to Azeri Daily Head of Press Service of Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry Hikmet Hajiyev.

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Azerbaijan may have decided to join the Islamic military alliance, which is often dubbed 'Islamic NATO.'

According to the Pakistani Dunya News TV, the Islamic military alliance was proposed in 2005 by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir Muhammad and Islamic Observers Organisation's spokesperson Fazal Muhammad to Saudi king Abdullah.

According to Mahatir Muhammad, King Abdullah favoured the suggestion and wished to bring it forward on Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) agenda however; due to reservations from some countries the formation of the force could not be made practical.

But after the deteriorating situation of Middle East especially the influence of Daesh (ISIL) in northwest Iraq, Saudi Arabia has themselves given a practical form to the suggestion.

Sources related to the Islamic military alliance have said that Azerbaijan, Tajikistan and Indonesia have also decided to join the alliance taking the number of the countries to 42.

The Islamic military alliance will be equivalent to western defence coalition NATO.

It will be made much stronger and active with the assistance of former army chief General Raheel Sharif due to his close relations with China and Russia.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Egypt, Bangladesh, Libya and Nigeria will play a significant role in the alliance whereas those countries whose army number is comparatively less will back all other matters of coalition.

The joint operations centre will be based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations.

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