U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and the president of the oil-rich Caucasus state of Azerbaijan have promised to continue bilateral cooperation on security issues.
Mr. Rumsfeld met with President Ilham Aliyev today (Thursday) in Baku, the third stop on a tour that has taken him to Oman and Afghanistan.
Secretary Rumsfeld thanked Mr. Aliyev for Azerbaijan's contribution to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq and Afghanistan. He described Azerbaijan as an important partner in the international fight against terrorism.
Mr. Aliyev said the security relationship between the United States and Azerbaijan is growing.
The former Soviet republic is the only predominantly Muslim country with troops in Iraq. It has about 150 soldiers there and another 122 in Afghanistan.
Information for this report is provided by AFP and Reuters.