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CLEARANCE OF UNEXPLODED ORDNANCE IN AZERBAIJAN SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION OF ANAMA AND NATO/NAMSA JOINT SALOGLU PROJECT (download movie)

The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) as the executing Agency for the joint ANAMA-NATO/NAMSA Partnership for Peace Trust Fund Project overcome all the difficulties and successfully implemented “Clearance of Unexploded Ordnance in Saloglu”. For over five years, against the backdrop of incredible risk and danger, ANAMA and NATO/NAMSA PfP have cleared more than 5 683 769 million square meters on the surface, and an equal amount in the sub-surface. More than 640,000 individual dangerous items were found and safely destroyed. During this period mine risk education programs were also carried out to raise awareness. As result the number of UXO-related accidents decreased. On 5 July, 2011 ANAMA hosted Japan Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mr. Shusuki Watanabe, Deputy Ambassador of Turkey to Azerbaijan Mr. Kaya Bakkalbashi, NATO/NAMSA Project Manager, Mr. David Towndrow to celebrate this momentous occasion - successful implementation and completion of the Saloglu Project which took place in Saloglu. The Closing Ceremony started with the briefing on the very Project in the situ and Mrs. Watanabe, wife of Japan Ambassador push a button on a blast machine to blow up last mine and unexploded ordnances found during the clearance operations in Saloglu. After the demolition Mr. Ismayilov and Mr. Towndrow clipped the red ribbon and officially opened the Sport Stadium built by ANAMA for a newly constructed school (which was constructed with the financial support provided by the Haydar Aliyev’s Fund) in Saloglu village of Agstafa region by the resources gained from selling of the non-ferrous metals gathered from Saloglu operations site and by the financial support of NATO/NAMSA. On 8 July, 2011 on official Saloglu Closing Ceremony held in Baku at Hyatt Regency Hotel with the participation of Mr. Abid Sharifov, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Gбbor Iklуdy, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, Mr. Khazar Ibrahim, Head of the Azerbaijani Mission to NATO, Ambassadors of Diplomatic Missions to Azerbaijan and representatives from NATO/NAMSA. Mr. Ismayilov made an opening speech about the scope of the UXO problem and emphasized high significance of the project launched within NATO PfP Program. According to Mr. Abid Sharifov, Deputy Prime Minister of Republic of Azerbaijan, the Coordinator of the Project on behalf of the Government of Azerbaijan, Government of Azerbaijan always give significance to partnership with NATO within the frames of PfP. As a result of Mine/UXO clearance operations conducted by ANAMA the agricultural and farming land being unaccessable for many years becomes safe from explosive hazard and gets handed back to locals for relevant use which is a part of plan of actions within the Social-Economic Development Program of the Regions of Azerbaijan approved by Decree of the Prezident of Azerbaijan. “Together, NATO and many partner countries have made the lives of Azeri citizens more safe and secure. What better way to demonstrate that in this new century safety and security are best achieved by international cooperation” Mr. Gбbor Iklуdy, NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges emphasized. Mr. Hulusi Kilic, the Ambassador of Turkey to Azerbaijan representing a lead-nation for the Project in his address to participants underlined the utility of PfP program in South Caucasus. Mr. Murad Rahimov, ANAMA Info Manager delivered presentation reflecting ANAMA-NATO/NAMSA joint Saloglu Project of UXOs clearance in Azerbaijan. After the presentation 6 minute Saloglu Project film made by NATO/NAMSA was presented to the participants. In his turn, Mr. Matthew J. Bryza congratulated ANAMA with the successful completion of the Project and announced that USA took the role of the Lead Nation for the Jeyranchel Project, clearance of the former Soviet Military testing and training area at Jeyranchel, Agstafa Region. Mr. David Towndrow, NATO/NAMSA Project Manager mentioned that ANAMA now has an enviable international reputation and is increasingly regarded as a centre of excellence for mine and ERW clearance. At the end of the Ceremony ANAMA Director expressed gratitude to all Donors and partners in making Saloglu safe.