First VP: Azer­bai­jan’s ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity must be re­stored, refugees must re­turn to their home­land

Azer News - - Front Page - By Kamila Aliyeva

Azer­bai­jan’s First Vice Pres­i­dent Mehriban Aliyeva held a meet­ing with a del­e­ga­tion led by Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of NATO Rose Got­te­moeller on Septem­ber 20.

Mehriban Aliyeva noted that Azer­bai­jan at­taches great im­por­tance to co­op­er­a­tion with NATO, adding that the coun­try at­tends var­i­ous meet­ings of the Al­liance.

Azer­bai­jani peace­keep­ers have been serv­ing in Afghanistan shoul­der to shoul­der with NATO ser­vice­men since 2002, she said, un­der­lin­ing that in Jan­uary 2018, Azer­bai­jan in­creased the num­ber of its ser­vice­men in the Res­o­lute Sup­port mis­sion by 30 per­cent, bring­ing it to 120 peo­ple.

“Our coun­try also pro­vides fi­nan­cial sup­port to the Afghan na­tional army and as­sis­tance in ad­dress­ing lo­gis­ti­cal and trans­port prob­lems, and or­ga­nizes train­ing for the per­son­nel of the Afghan army,” the first vice-pres­i­dent said.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, the suc­cess­ful de­vel­op­ment of high-level di­a­logue be­tween NATO and Azer­bai­jan was hailed.

Mehriban Aliyeva noted that Azer­bai­jani Pres­i­dent Il­ham Aliyev’s par­tic­i­pa­tion in the NATO Sum­mit in Brus­sels this July and his meet­ing with Sec­re­tary Gen­eral Jens Stoltenberg con­trib­uted to the de­vel­op­ment of bi­lat­eral re­la­tions be­tween Azer­bai­jan and the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The first vice-pres­i­dent also said that Azer­bai­jan highly ap­pre­ci­ates NATO mem­ber states’ un­equiv­o­cal sup­port for its sovereignty and ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity.

She also em­pha­sized that Azer­bai­jan lauds NATO’s great at­ten­tion to gen­der is­sues, and the is­sues re­lat­ing to women, peace and se­cu­rity.

“We are very happy that a con­fer­ence on this is­sue has re­cently been held in Azer­bai­jan,” Mehriban Aliyeva said, adding that gen­der equal­ity is one of the key pri­or­i­ties of state pol­icy in Azer­bai­jan.

She went on to add that one of the steps taken by the Azer­bai­jan Demo­cratic Repub­lic 100 years ago was grant­ing women the right to vote.

"We are proud that at the be­gin­ning of the twen­ti­eth cen­tury the Azer­bai­jani women achieved this equal­ity be­fore a num­ber of de­vel­oped coun­tries,” she said.

Mehriban Aliyeva pointed out that the Azer­bai­jani women have been ac­tively in­volved in the coun­try’s pub­lic and po­lit­i­cal life after the restora­tion of in­de­pen­dence.

She fur­ther noted that 17 per­cent of the mem­bers of par­lia­ment in Azer­bai­jan are women, ex­press­ing hope that the fig­ure will in­crease in the fu­ture.

The first vice-pres­i­dent also said that 1,600 women are serv­ing in the Azer­bai­jani army along with men. She un­der­lined that women in Azer­bai­jan have en­joyed great re­spect for cen­turies, adding that this tra­di­tion lives on.

Mehriban Aliyeva em­pha­sized that Azer­bai­jan is a peace­ful coun­try, which built re­la­tions with its neigh­bors and other coun­tries on the ba­sis of mu­tual re­spect.

“How­ever, it is for 25 years that we have been suf­fer­ing from Ar­me­nia's pol­icy of ag­gres­sion,”she said.“As a re­sult of this pol­icy the in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized ter­ri­tory of Nagorno Karabakh and its seven sur­round­ing dis­tricts have been oc­cu­pied, more than one mil­lion peo­ple have be­come refugees and IDPs, hun­dreds of Azer­bai­jani women have been killed and cap­tured dur­ing the con­flict, and over 600 peo­ple, in­clud­ing women and chil­dren were bru­tally mur­dered dur­ing the Kho­jaly tragedy.”

The first vice-pres­i­dent men­tioned that although the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil adopted four res­o­lu­tions on im­me­di­ate and un­con­di­tional with­drawal of the Ar­me­nian oc­cu­py­ing forces from the Azer­bai­jani ter­ri­to­ries 25 years ago, this oc­cu­pa­tion still con­tin­ues.

Not­ing that Azer­bai­jan wants the con­flict to be solved in a fair man­ner in ac­cor­dance with the norms and prin­ci­ples of in­ter­na­tional law, Mehriban Aliyeva said that Azer­bai­jan's ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity must be re­stored, the refugees must re­turn to their home­land, and only then peace will be estab­lished in the re­gion.

“Peace, se­cu­rity are the fac­tors that en­sure mu­tual un­der­stand­ing among peo­ples,” the first vice-pres­i­dent noted, adding that NATO's hu­man­i­tar­ian ac­tiv­ity is highly praised in Azer­bai­jan and that the coun­try is ready to work closely with the or­ga­ni­za­tion in this field.

Deputy Sec­re­tary Gen­eral of NATO Rose Got­te­moeller in turn ex­pressed sat­is­fac­tion with the visit to Azer­bai­jan.

“You can rest as­sured that we have taken notes of your state­ments,” she said.

Got­te­moeller noted that “Women, Peace and Se­cu­rity” con­fer­ence in Baku co­in­cides with re­mark­able days for the coun­try as it cel­e­brates the 100th an­niver­sary of the Azer­bai­jani par­lia­ment. She also spoke of the beauty of Baku, and hailed the coun­try’s achieve­ments.

Azer­bai­jan con­ducts po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue with NATO on a broad range of is­sues of com­mon con­cern based on the PfP prin­ci­ples. Within the po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue, which is held in dif­fer­ent for­mats and lev­els, the is­sues like part­ner­ships, re­gional se­cu­rity, Ar­me­nia-Azer­bai­jan con­flict, op­er­a­tions, con­tri­bu­tion to Afghanistan, en­ergy se­cu­rity etc. are the mat­ters of bi­lat­eral dis­cus­sions and con­sul­ta­tions. The high-level po­lit­i­cal di­a­logue based on mu­tual un­der­stand­ing pro­motes progress in the prac­ti­cal co­op­er­a­tion.

The coun­try’s pro­gram of co­op­er­a­tion with NATO is set out in an In­di­vid­ual Part­ner­ship Ac­tion Plan (IPAP), which is agreed ev­ery two years.

NATO and Azer­bai­jan co­op­er­ate on wide-rang­ing demo­cratic, in­sti­tu­tional and de­fense re­forms.

Azer­bai­jan has long been an ac­tive con­trib­u­tor to NATO-led op­er­a­tions – it de­ployed troops to Kosovo in the past and con­tin­ues to sup­port the mis­sion in Afghanistan.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Azerbaijan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.