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Azerbaijan Cancels Military Exercises With United States

Azerbaijani and U.S. soldiers participate in a joint NATO military exercise outside Baku last year.
BAKU -- The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry says it has canceled military computer exercises with U.S. forces that were scheduled for May, RFE/RL's Azerbaijani Service reports.

Azerbaijani Defense Ministry spokesman Eldar Sabiroglu said he did not know the reasons for the cancellation.

"The provisions of the Azerbaijani-U.S. agreement have always been implemented," he said. "This is the first time any such measures have been canceled."

The first exercises within the bilateral agreement "Regional Response 2009" were conducted last year by U.S. and Azerbaijani forces on training grounds in Azerbaijan.

This year's exercises, known as "Computer Supported Headquarter Trainings," were to be held at the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry's training-education center.

A U.S. Embassy official in Baku told RFE/RL that all questions related to the cancellation should be addressed to Azerbaijan officials.

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was not invited by U.S. President Barack Obama to the April 12-13 Nuclear Security Summit in Washington that was attended by the leaders of 47 countries.

Ali Hasanov, an official in Azerbaijan's presidential administration, said over the weekend that Azerbaijan would revise its policy toward the United States, Reuters reported.