Ilham Aliyev voices hope Karabakh conflict can find solution through talks
President Ilham Aliyev attended the iftar ceremony on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan hosted by Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade at his residence on June 6.
The event kicked off with the recitation of verses from the Quran and a Ramadan prayer.
Addressing the event, President Aliyev noted that meetings at the iftar ceremony organized each year testify to the very high level of statereligious relations in Azerbaijan.
“Representatives of all religions live as one family in Azerbaijan. This again shows the thoughts that have been voiced at today's iftar ceremony, speeches of the leaders of traditional religions. In Azerbaijan, both state-religious and interreligious relations are exemplary. I know that the Azerbaijani model associated with these issues is being studied in many parts of the world today. This is necessary for our successful development. This is a manifestation of our state policy. At the same time, this reflects the state of our society, the prevailing atmosphere here,” he said.
The head of state noted that a very serious, thoughtful state policy on interreligious issues is held in Azerbaijan, and this policy is supported by the Azerbaijani people.
“The regulation of these relations in Azerbaijan ensures the successful development of our country. The existing national consensus in Azerbaijan, civil unity, stability are built precisely on these relations. The Azerbaijani people are committed to their national values, and the Azerbaijani state is built on national values. At the same time, Azerbaijan is already known in the world as an exemplary country in the establishment of interreligious, interethnic relations. We send a very serious and positive signal from Azerbaijan to the world, and at the same time the high level of these relations is very important for the successful development of our country. We have one goal, one aspiration. We want our country to become even stronger and develop even faster. We want the Azerbaijani people to live even better, in conditions of peace and prosperity. We not only want this, but we also provide this with our practical steps,” he said.
President Aliyev recalled that he met with ambassadors of Muslim countries in Azerbaijan few days ago.
“In the month of Ramadan, these meetings are of a traditional nature. During the meeting, I spoke about our relations with Muslim countries. These ties are at a high level. Azerbaijan is a country enjoying great support, great respect in the Muslim world. Muslim countries always support Azerbaijan in international organizations and are well aware that Azerbaijan, in turn, supports Muslim countries in all international organizations. Azerbaijan plays a very active and successful role in the promotion of Islamic culture in the world,” he added.
Ilham Aliyev pointed out that the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) appreciates the solution of religious issues in Azerbaijan.
“The Organization of Islamic Cooperation constantly supports our country in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan NagornoKarabakh conflict. Numerous resolutions, which reflected the historical truth, the real situation and demonstrated a fair position in connection with the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, were adopted. Azerbaijan's just position is supported, and we are grateful to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation for this support,” he said.
President Aliyev stated that the Armenia-Azerbaijan NagornoKarabakh conflict should be resolved only on the basis of international norms and principles.
“Nagorno-Karabakh is our historical land, we bring these realities to the whole world. Numerous works, books have been published, and many events have been held,” he added.
“No one doubts that NagornoKarabakh historically belonged to the Azerbaijani people. From a legal point of view, Nagorno-Karabakh is an integral part of Azerbaijan, the whole world recognizes the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. No country recognizes and, I am sure, will never recognize the criminal, selfproclaimed regime existing in Nagorno-Karabakh. These factors, and historical facts, and the norms of international law, resolutions of international organizations not only strengthen our position, but also create the basis for the settlement of the conflict, the legal basis, and we achieved this as a result of tireless activity. I am confident that by pursuing a consistent policy, we will achieve our goal, restore the territorial integrity of our country. I have no doubt about that,” President Aliyev said.
This is suggested by historical realities, the legal framework, the resolutions of the UN Security Council, resolutions of other organizations, our economic might, military power and the real situation in the region, according to the head of state.
“Today, Armenian people talk about the things that I have been talking for years. I exposed the former criminal regime of Armenia from the highest tribune of the world, from the tribune of the UN. I called them by names, I accused them of the Khojaly genocide, war crimes. I named the former leadership of Armenia a bloodthirsty, criminal, bandit regime. All this is true. I told the truth, today the Armenian people say this truth. The Armenian people finally realized that for 20 years they were led by a criminal junta regime, a regime that pursued only its own interests, a regime, because of unsatisfactory and criminal activity of which, Armenia found itself in such a deplorable state,” the President said.
Ilham Aliyev expressed hope that the new leadership of Armenia will not repeat the mistakes of the former authorities, will do serious work for an early settlement of the conflict, and a real, not for the sake of imitation, negotiation process will be launched.
“Thus, a solution can be found for the question, and peace can be brought to the Caucasus. We want this, we demand a settlement of the conflict, we have the right to it. We hope that this issue can soon find a solution through negotiations,” he noted.
The President went on to say that in Azerbaijan, religion is separated from the state.
“But the state constantly supports believers. All our historical mosques have been thoroughly restored by the state,” he said.
“Our historical monuments, religious monuments are our national treasure. The temples of all religions are dear to us, this is our property. Azerbaijan preserves, restores, builds historical and religious monuments of all religions. This once again shows that the religious policy in Azerbaijan is conducted very deliberately and meets the interests of the Azerbaijani people,” President Aliyev noted.
The head of state went on to say that the “Baku process” is already an important part of the global agenda.
“It is no coincidence that the "Baku process", started on our initiative 10 years ago, is the only largescale format of cooperation in the world. Over these 10 years, no one else has put forward a similar initiative. The “Baku process” is a purely Azerbaijani initiative. This year, we will mark the 10th anniversary of the “Baku process”. This initiative is supported by the UN and other influential international organizations,” the President said.
“Look how many major events we have held in Azerbaijan over the years – the summit of religious leaders, the Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the Baku humanitarian forums, the forums on intercultural dialogue. We are doing all this because there is a great need for that. We want interreligious relations to be regulated at a high level not only in Azerbaijan but all over the world,” the head of state added.
Ilham Aliyev further noted that all these goals were achieved inside the country.
“Today in Azerbaijan there are no problems, misunderstandings on religious, national grounds. But we want them not to be in the world, and we are ready to continue making our contribution. Today, Azerbaijan has already established itself in the world as a center of multiculturalism. This is the state policy, and the order of society. This is a great asset, especially at the present time. Today we see that blood is shed on religious grounds in various places of the world, wars are blazing, and great tragedies are taking place. Of course, we must evaluate the work carried out in this field and try to make the situation develop in a positive direction both in Azerbaijan and in our region. We live not on an island, we live and we will live in this region. Therefore, we constantly keep these issues in the center of attention within the country, and, I believe, by international initiatives we contribute to the regulation of the highlevel interreligious relations in the region and the world,” he said.
President Aliyev further pointed out several important events that took place during the time that passed after last year's meeting.
“These events are indeed historical. One of them is the transformation of Azerbaijan into the transport center of Eurasia. Last year the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway was solemnly celebrated in Baku. And this year we marked the opening of the largest trade port on the Caspian Sea. Thus, we solved most of the issues the country faced in the transport sphere. These historical projects over the years will ensure the successful development of Azerbaijan,” he said.
The head of state then recalled that the official opening of the Southern Gas Corridor took place last month.
“This is also a great historical achievement, a historical project. This project will serve the Azerbaijani people for many decades. A few days later, the official opening of TANAP will take place in the Turkish city of Eskisehir. This is also a great historical achievement. That is, by achieving great success every year, we strengthen and secure our country. I am confident that Azerbaijan will continue to confidently and successfully develop,” he concluded.
President Aliyev then congratulated all participants and the Muslims of the whole world on the upcoming holy Ramadan holiday.
Addressing the ceremony, Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade expressed his gratitude to President Ilham Aliyev and guests for accepting his invitation to attend the iftar ceremony on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.
Other speakers at the event included Archbishop of Baku and Azerbaijan Eparchy of the Russian Orthodox Church Alexander, head of the Mountain Jews Community in Azerbaijan Milikh Yevdayev and bishop of the Catholic Church in Azerbaijan Vladimir Fekete.
president Aliyev made a speech at an Iftar ceremony hosted by Chairman of the Caucasus Muslims Office Sheikhulislam Allahshukur Pashazade on June 6.