About Us Azerbaijan

STATEMENT BY
H.E. MR. ILHAM ALIYEV
PRESIDENT OF REPUBLIC OF AZERBAIJAN
 
Dear brother President Abdullah Gul! 
Dear heads of state! 
Dear delegation leaders! 
Ladies and gentlemen! 

First of all, I want to express my gratitude to President Abdullah Gul for the hospitality and excellent organization of this summit. At the same time, I want to thank Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev for his efforts to turn the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia into an important international forum. I am sure that the future of this organization will be very promising and bright.

I would like to take this opportunity to state that the people of Azerbaijan sympathize with our Turkish brothers over the attack on a humanitarian vessel and the death of innocent civilians in the Mediterranean Sea. We strongly condemn this attack and stand by Turkey. Also, on behalf of the Azerbaijani people, I would like to express condolences to our Turkish brothers and affected families.

Azerbaijanis playing a role in regional cooperation. We are absolutely sure that regional cooperation, predictability and joint activities in the region will reduce risks and help in the construction of a predictable future for our peoples.

Security in Asia are part of global security measures. We can’t succeed without a comprehensive approach to security. The fight against terror must target all terrorist organizations in the world. There are no good or bad terrorists. Therefore, consolidation of efforts against terrorism is the key precondition of success. At the same time, regional cooperation and economic growth will contribute a lot to our regional security. For this reason, Azerbaijan is trying to play an important part in regional cooperation.

Different projects launched and successfully implemented in our country are already laying a solid foundation for broader regional cooperation. I would like to highlight energy security projects. They started out as pipeline projects, but have turned into an example of important regional cooperation benefiting all its participants.

Azerbaijan is also contributing to the revival of the historic Silk Way, while the railway project we are involved in will link Asia with Europe and create a major transport hub which will benefit all regional peoples. In other words, security requires consolidation of our efforts, while economic cooperation and growth can become a road to success. 

One of the most important issues I would like to highlight is the attitude towards resolution of conflicts. Azerbaijan is a victim of ongoing Armenian aggression. We can say that our internationally recognized lands have been under Armenian occupation for two decades. As a result of this occupation, one million Azerbaijanis have become refugees and IDPs. Twenty per cent of our territory is occupied by Armenia. This situation is still ongoing. We have become victims of a policy of ethnic cleansing. There is not a single local resident in occupied territories. Ethnic cleansing has been carried out there. Everything, including buildings, houses, schools, graves of our ancestors, mosques, all our historical heritage, is destroyed. We demand that Armenia fulfill the decisions and resolutions of international organizations.

The UN Security Council has passed four resolutions demanding an unconditional and immediate withdrawal of the Armenian armed forces from Azerbaijani lands. However, the resolutions have yet to be executed. Resolutions of the UN General Assembly, decisions of the OSCE, resolutions of the Organization of Islamic Conference, decisions of the Council of Europe and European Parliament and other international organizations are not fulfilled. If norms of international law don’t work, what situation for the international community can we talk about? If we can’t enforce universally accepted resolutions and this situation is ongoing, then it is not known how international relations will be built in the future. Any country regardless of its importance and size must observe international legal norms. International law is there for all countries to observe. We are members of international organizations and must respect their decisions. If these decisions are passed but not fulfilled, then confidence in international institutions will reduce. 

We are aspiring to restore the territorial integrity of our country in a peaceful way. The territorial integrity of Azerbaijan is recognized by the whole world and international organizations. A settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict must be based on the restoration of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and provision of the Armenian minority of our country with a high status of self-administration and autonomy.

I want to emphasize that Azerbaijan will continue contributing to security measures in our region. By our efforts and investment beyond our borders, we will continue to contribute to the economic development of the region. Projects pertaining to the transport and energy infrastructure will link peoples and states. There must be a balance between the interests of consumer, producer and transit states. Only in this case will all projects serve universal well-being.

In conclusion, I would like to express my appreciation to Turkey, organizer of the event, for the hospitality and wish the summit further successes.

Thank you for your attention.