Baku, AzberbaijanĀ - Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV) Ray Mabus met with Azerbaijan's president, Ilham Aliyev, and Minister of Defense Col. Gen. Zakhir Hasanov during a partnership-building visit to the nation's capital today.

During official meetings held in Baku, Mabus and the Azeri leaders discussed the status of the relationship between the military forces of the United States and Azerbaijan.

"The United States and Azerbaijan have a long-standing partnership that we look forward to maintaining and continuing to strengthen," said Mabus. "This partnership has been both well established and mutually beneficial."

Mabus, Aliyev and Hasanov also discussed future interaction between their respective nations.

"The United States government and our Navy and Marine Corps are committed to working with Azerbaijan's security ministries to further our mutual interests and help Azerbaijan contribute to regional security," said Mabus. "It is my hope that the cooperative military engagements we have planned for the future will only strengthen our military connection."

Mabus' stop in Azerbaijan is part of a multinational trip to U.S. Southern, Africa, Central and European command areas of responsibility to meet with Sailors, Marines, and military and government leaders.