BAKU, Azerbaijan

Azerbaijan’s president on Saturday received the Turkish national defense minister in the capital Baku.

Ilham Aliyev welcomed Hulusi Akar at the Presidential Palace ahead of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s arrival in Azerbaijan later Saturday.

Akar was accompanied by several top Turkish commanders, including Chief of General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler, Land Forces Commander Gen. Musa Avsever, Naval Forces Commander Adm. Adnan Ozbal, and Air Forces Commander Gen. Hasan Kucukakyuz.

Akar gave best wishes for Azerbaijan’s Independence Day and briefed Aliyev about developments and ongoing work on military education cooperation between Turkiye and Azerbaijan and defense industry cooperation.

Aliyev, for his part, said: “It is a great pleasure to be together with you on Independence Day.”

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and Turkiye’s Ambassador to Baku Cahit Bagci were also present at the meeting.

Erdogan is due in Azerbaijan on Saturday at Aliyev’s invitation for the occasion of nation’s Republic Day.

Close ties between Turkiye and neighboring Azerbaijan have been summed up in the phrase, “One nation, two states.”

Erdogan also will attend first foreign edition of leading Turkish aviation, space, and technology festival Teknofest. Later, he will meet with Aliyev.

* Writing by Zehra Nur Duz.

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