Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev: Azer­bai­jan turns into ir­re­place­able coun­try in in­ter-re­li­gious di­a­logue

Azer News - - Front Page - By Amina Nazarli

An in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence, ti­tled “2017 – Year of Is­lamic Sol­i­dar­ity: In­ter­faith and In­ter­cul­tural Di­a­logue” was held at the Hey­dar Aliyev Cen­ter on De­cem­ber 21.

The in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence was at­tended by well-known state, re­li­gious and sci­en­tific fig­ures from about 40 coun­tries, heads and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of eight in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives of heads of var­i­ous states, lead­ers of re­li­gious con­fes­sions, gov­ern­ment, public and par­lia­men­tary mem­bers, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the diplo­matic corps.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev at­tended the open­ing cer­e­mony of the event that was or­ga­nized by the Cau­ca­sus Mus­lims Of­fice and the State Com­mit­tee for Work with Re­li­gious Or­ga­ni­za­tions of Azer­bai­jan, and is ded­i­cated to the re­sults of the Year of Is­lamic Sol­i­dar­ity, pro­claimed by a pres­i­den­tial de­cree.

The Pres­i­dent stated that Azer­bai­jan is turn­ing into an ir­re­place­able coun­try in the in­ter-re­li­gious in­ter­cul­tural di­a­logue. He stressed that the Azer­bai­jani peo­ple are very com­mit­ted to their na­tional and spir­i­tual roots.

“The very na­tional val­ues form the foun­da­tion of the in­de­pen­dent Azer­bai­jan state. Our na­tional val­ues are an in­te­gral part of univer­sal val­ues,” he said.

Ma­jor en­ergy projects be­ing im­ple­mented to­day - the $40-bil­lion South­ern Gas Cor­ri­dor and other projects - will sup­port the long-term, suc­cess­ful sus­tain­able growth of Azer­bai­jan, said Pres­i­dent Aliyev, un­der­lin­ing that Azer­bai­jan suc­cess­fully de­vel­ops, de­spite big and com­plex prob­lems.

“We have turned into a very re­li­able part­ner in the in­ter­na­tional arena, a few years ago, we were elected a mem­ber of the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil by the votes of 155 coun­tries. This was our great po­lit­i­cal vic­tory, be­cause then Azer­bai­jan was an in­de­pen­dent coun­try for only 20 years and dur­ing these years man­aged to gain recog­ni­tion the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity,” he said.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev went on to add that sev­eral eco­nomic re­forms are be­ing im­ple­mented in the coun­try.

“Over the past 14 years, Azer­bai­jan has been de­vel­op­ing more rapidly than oth­ers in the world from the point of view of eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Our econ­omy, GDP grew by more than three-fold,” he said.

The head of state said that Azer­bai­jan also car­ries out a very se­ri­ous so­cial pol­icy, as a re­sult of which the level of un­em­ploy­ment and poverty is at the level of five per­cent, stress­ing that the so­ci­ety is pos­i­tive about the fu­ture de­vel­op­ment of the coun­try.

Azer­bai­jan, which has been liv­ing as an in­de­pen­dent state for 26 years, stands strong, said the Pres­i­dent.

“Of course, our main prob­lem is the Ar­me­nia-Azer­bai­jan Nagorno-Karabakh con­flict. As you know, Ar­me­nia has been oc­cu­py­ing 20 per­cent of our ter­ri­to­ries rec­og­nized by the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity for more than 20 years. More than one mil­lion cit­i­zens were ex­pelled from these lands, be­came refugees and in­ter­nally dis­placed per­sons,” said Pres­i­dent Aliyev.

“An eth­nic cleans­ing pol­icy was con­ducted against our peo­ple. Ar­me­ni­ans com­mit­ted a bloody crime – the Kho­jaly geno­cide. Ar­me­nian gun­men killed more than 600 in­no­cent peace­ful peo­ple, in­clud­ing more than 100 women and 60 chil­dren. More than 10 coun­tries have rec­og­nized the Kho­jaly mas­sacre as an act of geno­cide,” he noted.

The head of state said that the United Na­tions adopted four res­o­lu­tions on the con­flict, and these res­o­lu­tions clearly state that the Ar­me­nian armed forces should be with­drawn im­me­di­ately and un­con­di­tion­ally from the oc­cu­pied lands. How­ever, these res­o­lu­tions have re­mained on paper.

“Those who adopt these res­o­lu­tions are in­dif­fer­ent to this is­sue, and Ar­me­nia, tak­ing this op­por­tu­nity, con­tin­ues its oc­cu­pa­tion pol­icy. All the build­ings were de­stroyed in our oc­cu­pied lands. Our his­tor­i­cal, re­li­gious mon­u­ments, mosques were de­stroyed by Ar­me­ni­ans. The pho­tos of these de­stroyed mosques were posted enough on the In­ter­net, and ev­ery­one can see them. The en­tire in­fra­struc­ture was de­stroyed. The OSCE have sent two fact-find­ing mis­sions to the oc­cu­pied lands. Those mis­sions faced the scene that I am talk­ing about and in­cluded this in their re­ports,” said Il­ham Aliyev.

He noted that the po­si­tion of Azer­bai­jani state on the con­flict is fully based on in­ter­na­tional law.

“First of all, Nagorno-Karabakh is Azer­bai­jan’s an­cient, his­tor­i­cal land, and on other hand, it is an in­te­gral part of Azer­bai­jan in terms of in­ter­na­tional law. The en­tire world knows Nagorno-Karabakh as Azer­bai­jan’s in­te­gral part. In this case, the con­flict must be re­solved solely on the ba­sis of norms and prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law,” he said.

“The UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil res­o­lu­tions – there are no other su­pe­rior doc­u­ments than these doc­u­ments in the world – must be fully im­ple­mented and the ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of our coun­try must be re­stored. The Azer­bai­jani state and the Azer­bai­jani peo­ple will never al­low the es­tab­lish­ment of sec­ond Ar­me­nian state on its land,” added Pres­i­dent Aliyev.

Speak­ing about self-de­ter­mi­na­tion of peo­ples, the head of state said that this is­sue can be re­solved within the frame­work of ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity of coun­tries.

“As I noted, many coun­tries in the world are multi­na­tional and multi-re­li­gious. The Ar­me­nian peo­ple de­cided on its self-de­ter­mi­na­tion and they have a state. Azer­bai­jan will never al­low the sec­ond Ar­me­nian state to be es­tab­lished on his­tor­i­cal Azer­bai­jani lands. This, in fact, is a very harm­ful, dan­ger­ous and il­log­i­cal logic. Ar­me­ni­ans live in many coun­tries. If they would de­sire to en­force their self-de­ter­mi­na­tion in all coun­tries of their res­i­dence as in Azer­bai­jan, and re­sort to ag­gres­sive sep­a­ratism, then we will see what will be the poli­cies of those coun­tries,” added Pres­i­dent Aliyev.

“To­day’s pro­cesses in the world sup­port and strengthen our po­si­tion. As I noted, our po­si­tion is strong enough in terms of in­ter­na­tional law, his­tory and po­ten­tial. How­ever, Europe also faces sep­a­ratism to­day. Look, which steps are taken in Euro­pean coun­tries against sep­a­ratism?! Our prob­lem is ag­gres­sive sep­a­ratism. The Ar­me­nian gun­men com­mit­ted geno­cide, oc­cu­pied our lands by force, ex­pelled in­no­cent peo­ple from these lands, and are en­gaged in il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties on these lands to­day,” noted the head of state.

“I am ab­so­lutely con­vinced that Azer­bai­jan will re­store its ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity,” said Pres­i­dent Aliyev. “There are all op­por­tu­ni­ties for this, and re­cent events – the events of the past year show that once again.”

Dur­ing the con­fer­ence, con­grat­u­la­tory mes­sages from the Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani, Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan, Uzbek Pres­i­dent Shavkat Mirziy­oyev, Holy See (Vat­i­can), Pa­tri­arch Bartholomew I of Con­stantino­ple, Pa­tri­arch Kir­ill of Moscow and All Rus­sia, and Catholi­cos-Pa­tri­arch of All Ge­or­gia Ilia II were read out.

Ad­dress­ing the in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence par­tic­i­pants on be­half of world Mus­lims, ISESCO Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Ab­du­laziz Alt­wai­jri em­pha­sized Azer­bai­jan’s grow­ing role in en­sur­ing the strength­en­ing of the Is­lamic sol­i­dar­ity and in­ter­re­li­gious and in­ter­cul­tural di­a­logue.

Chair­man of the Cau­ca­sus Mus­lims Of­fice, co-chair of the CIS In­ter­re­li­gious Coun­cil Sheikhulis­lam Al­lahshukur Pas­haz­ade high­lighted the in­ter­na­tional events jointly or­ga­nized by the Cau­ca­sus Mus­lims Of­fice and the State Com­mit­tee on Work with Re­li­gious Or­ga­ni­za­tions in a num­ber of coun­tries as part of the “Year of Is­lamic Sol­i­dar­ity”.

In early Jan­uary, Pres­i­dent Aliyev signed an or­der on dec­la­ra­tion of year of 2017 a Year of Is­lamic Sol­i­dar­ity, aim­ing to pro­vide the strength­en­ing of Azer­bai­jan’s unique po­si­tion in re-es­tab­lish­ment of the Is­lamic sol­i­dar­ity.

Azer­bai­jan was one of the main cen­ters of Is­lamic Civ­i­liza­tion for many cen­turies. The coun­try played an im­por­tant role in spread­ing out re­li­gion of Is­lam and re-es­tab­lish­ing the Is­lamic Re­nais­sance. All of these cre­ated con­di­tions for for­mal­iz­ing the ma­te­rial and non-ma­te­rial her­itage of re­li­gion of Is­lam.

By be­ing elected as the mem­ber of the Or­ga­ni­za­tion of Is­lamic Co­op­er­a­tion, ISESCO, as well as other pres­ti­gious or­ga­ni­za­tions Azer­bai­jan es­tab­lished mu­tu­ally fruit­ful re­la­tions with the Mus­lim world.

Azer­bai­jan also acted as an or­ga­nizer of the sev­eral im­por­tant global cul­tural fo­rums. The coun­try also gave great con­tri­bu­tions to form­ing the tol­er­ant en­vi­ron­ment, es­tab­lish­ment of the mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism and in­ter-cul­tural, in­ter-civ­i­liza­tional di­a­logue and pop­u­lar­iza­tion of the Is­lamic val­ues in the world. Hold­ing the 4th Is­lamic Sol­i­dar­ity Games in Baku in 2017 cre­ates fruit­ful con­di­tion for tak­ing other steps for strength­en­ing the Is­lamic sol­i­dar­ity of the coun­try.

Pres­i­dent Aliyev de­liv­ered speech at an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence, ti­tled "2017 - Year of Is­lamic Sol­idaity: In­ter­faith and In­ter­cul­tural Di­a­logue"

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