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Statement by H.E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Dear Mr. President,

Distinguished Heads of State and Government,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev for the hospitality extended to us and excellent organization of the Summit.

We consider the Second CICA Summit as a very important event in further coordination of the efforts of our countries in strengthening security measures in the region and in establishing efficient economic cooperation as well.

Asiais the most dynamically developing region in the world. Today and in future prospects of development will open new opportunities for efficient cooperation in all areas. Between our countries exist high level political contacts. The regional issues unite us. We would also like to see big achievements and progress in economic cooperation. In this regard realization of transport projects, which we are planning, can create completely new conditions for regional development.

Regional development is the important element in strengthening security measures and stability in our region. Azerbaijan, in its turn, is ready to play essential role in transport communication projects. We actively take part in the East-West transport project. The issue concerning the restoration of historicalSilk Routeconstitutes is of a big interest for regional development as well as for communication between Europe and Asia.

Now we are actively working on an important project on strengthening the system of railroad communication between Europe and Asia. And in this context Azerbaijan is the country through which passes this natural bridge between Asia and Europe.

Our task is to strengthen the infrastructure and create favourable conditions for our partners, thereby involving full potential of our countries.

We also attach great significance to the North - South transport corridor, where Azerbaijan participates actively and is ready to give its infrastructure entirely at the disposal of partner countries.

Any development of the state is possible only in conditions of stability and positive trends. The example of our states demonstrates that where stability and common consensus are there is a development. And speedy growth of our countries’ economies is the vivid example of that.

However there exist big threats in our region too, I already spoke about it today, first of all, these are the issues of international terrorism, which can undermine practically all our plans and lead to unpredictable consequences. The practice shows that it is impossible to fight this evil alone. It is necessary to consolidate the efforts of all states, there is a need for a common approach, it is necessary to get rid off divisions in this issue. The terrorism does not have nationality and religion and consequently serious efforts are needed to achieve a joint approach on this problem. There can not be bad or neutral terrorist organizations, it is necessary to have a common approach to all of them.

Azerbaijanis the country, which has suffered of terrorism. In this regard we take part in many arrangements that are connected with the fight against terrorism and we shall work further in this direction.

In our country 32 terrorist acts have been carried out by Armenian terrorist organizations, which took the lives of 2000 innocent citizens.

The pain, inflicted by terrorists to our people, is well-known, therefore once again I want to tell that joint efforts, the uniform approach may enable us to overcome this evil.

The issues of unsettled conflicts in our region also represent potential and practical threat of destabilization.

Azerbaijanis the country which is under occupation as the result of aggression on the part of Armenia, more than 20 percent of our territory remains under occupation in the course of last 10 years as the result of ethnic cleansing, held against Azerbaijanians. More than one million of our citizens are refugees and migrants.

We consider that resolutions of highest international organizations with regard to the Armenian-Azerbaijan conflict will be realized. Four resolutions of the United Nations, unfortunately, have not been implemented yet. They demand unconditional withdrawal of all occupational forces from the Azerbaijan territory.

The principle of territorial integrity and inviolability of borders is the generally recognized principle of international law and therefore has to be observed strictly. As regards secure residence of minorities in the territories of our countries, then practically in each of our countries there are national minorities, and to be a minority does not mean that one can demand secession of a part of the territory where that minority lives and pursue a policy of aggressive separatism.

The Declaration, which is to be adopted today, speaks very precisely about this matter: territorial integrity, fight with separatism are firm elements of regional development and security. Thus, if we connive at separatist tendencies, and in this regard rely on double standards, if to admit that in one place infringement of territorial integrity is acceptable, in other place not, then it leads to disastrous consequences for the entire world and many countries.

Therefore there is a need to think on it very seriously and work out a common approach to dealing with such tasks. There is a very positive experience of autonomies in the world; it exists in the Asian region and in the European region. Therefore any such conflict should be considered only within the framework of the international legal norms and in conditions of strengthening confidence building measures.

Azerbaijanconsiders its participation in regional cooperation as a very important element of our foreign policy.

We believe that in future cooperation in Asia will continue to increase. It will be facilitated by the development of both economic potential as well as political interaction of our states.

On our part we are ready and intend to participate actively in all regional projects.

Thank you for attention.

Thank you, Mr. President, Distinguished Heads of delegations.