U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford testify before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on National Security Challenges and Ongoing Military Operations on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

BAKU (RFE/RL) — Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has held talks with the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff in Baku.

Azerbaijan’s presidential administration said the talks between Aliyev and General Joseph Dunford were held on February 16.

Azerbaijani officials said the two discussed bilateral political and economic cooperation, Baku’s contribution to international peacekeeping efforts in Afghanistan, and joint activities in energy security and defense.

Earlier reports said that Dunford also planned to meet his counterpart, Russian General Valery Gerasimov, in Baku on February 16.

A statement released by Dunford’s office on February 15 said their agenda would focus on “the current state of U.S.-Russian military relations and the importance of consistent and clear military-to-military communication to prevent miscalculation and potential crises.”

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