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Georgian, Turkish, Azerbaijani Defense Ministers Convene In Tbilisi

The defense ministers of Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan converged in Tbilisi on April 2 to discuss military cooperation.

Georgian Defense Minister Mindia Janelidze told journalists that a trilateral military cooperation mechanism launched a year ago is meant to support "regional peace and security."

"It is not aimed against third parties, but rather helps professional development of our armed forces," Janelidze said.

Turkish Defense Minister Ismet Yilmaz said the trilateral defense cooperation "is a good mechanism of regional stability."

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov accused neighboring Armenia, with which Azerbaijan has been locked in conflict for years over the breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh, of creating instability.

"Armenia is the only state in the region which lays territorial claims to our countries. We will continue to address this problem," Hasanov told reporters.

Meanwhile, the Russian Defense Ministry said Russian Air Force units stationed in Armenia began three-day military maneuvers on April 2.

The ministry said units practiced air support and the destruction of airborne targets simulating bombers and missiles.

Based on reporting by Interfax,, and Rustavi-2