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AZERBAIJAN HOSTED NATO PfP TRUST FUND WORKSHOP

The Workshop on NATO Partnership for Peace Trust Funds has been organized jointly by NATO and the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of the Republic of Azerbaijan on 26-27 June in Baky. The meeting hosted more than 50 representatives from NATO and partner states including participants from different other international organizations. The conference was dedicated to discussion of ongoing projects implemented within PfP Trust Fund initiative as well as reviewing of the Trust Fund policy. During the meeting ANAMA presented detailed review on the current status and achievements within Saloglu Project on clearance of UXOs in Azerbaijan. Participants discussed the situation within ongoing second phase of the project and consider the ways for continuation of clearance operations in Saloglu area. To date about 75% of the project's command areas have already been cleared during the first and the second phases of project. As of today, out of 568 hectares in Saloglu village of Agstafa district intended for the clearance within the project, 568 hectares of land were cleared surface and 115 hectares subsurface, 298,640 UXOs were located and 155,623 were destroyed. Number of monitoring and re-assessment missions conducted by NAMSA experts jointly with ANAMA confirmed that launching of the third phase is required to meet the challenges posed by extremely high level of UXO contamination in Saloglu area. Thus, according to preliminary evaluations the third phase will extend over 27-30 months with the budget of about EUR 1.9 mln. to fulfill the goals of the project. Deputy Ambassador of Turkey to Azerbaijan, Mr. Erkan Ozoral expressed the readiness of its country to further support the project in the role of the Lead Nation and stressed the importance of this kind of joint projects for the development of regional cooperation. In return, ANAMA Director, Mr. Nazim Ismaylov emphasized that the conception of NATO Trust Funds is a very effective mechanism for practical implementation of the projects which also serves as an important tool for support of arms control and security policy in the country as well as promotes and reinforce the regional partnership. Mr. Ismaylov thanked all the countries and organizations contributed to the Saloglu Project to date and expressed its hope for future collaboration within the third phase of the project to ensure the necessary level of safety in the area for all intents and purposes.