The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was created in 1949 in Washington by the United States, Canada, and several Western European nations to provide collective security. The Organisation has established military command structures to implement co-ordinated policies and provide military training. The cornerstone of the substantive partnership between Azerbaijan and NATO was laid down on the 4th of May 1994, when the late President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev signed the Partnership for Peace (PfP) Framework Document.
Azerbaijan conducts political dialogue with NATO on a broad range of issues of common concern based on the PfP principles. Within the political dialogue, which is held in different formats and levels, the issues like partnerships, regional security, Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict until the 10th of November 2020, peace support operations, contribution to Afghanistan, emerging security challenges etc. are the matters of bilateral discussions and consultations.
Azerbaijan actively uses relevant partnership tools to achieve goals reflected in the PfP Framework Document (1996), as well as bilateral co-operation documents. In these documents Azerbaijan expressed its readiness for cooperation with NATO in the areas such as defence and security sector reforms, developing military forces according to NATO standards, participation in the NATO-led peace operations, civil emergency planning, addressing the emerging security challenges as well as science, environment and public diplomacy.
Currently (2021), 120 servicemen from Azerbaijan serve within the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. Azerbaijan also contributes to NATO headquarters and command under the headquarters element of the partnership. In addition, the representative of Azerbaijan is a voluntary national contribution to the Euro-Atlantic Disaster Response Coordination Centre (EADRCC).
In 2018, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, took part in a meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the invitation of NATO Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg. The meeting was dedicated to the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan. During his visit to Belgium in 2017, the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, met with NATO Secretary-General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg, and made a joint press statement and took part in a meeting of the NATO North Atlantic Council.