Istanbul, April 12-13, 2016. Statement by Elmar Mammadyarov, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan at the preparatory meeting of the Foreign Ministerial Council of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to the 13th Islamic Summit Conference of the OIC on “Unity and Solidarity for Justice and Peace”
Mr. Secretary General,
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I’d like to express sincere gratitude to the brotherly Government of Turkey for warm hospitality and impeccable organization of our meeting. We congratulate you upon assumption of the Chairmanship of the Islamic Summit Conference and wish best of success in fulfilling your duties. We also convey deep appreciation to the Arab Republic of Egypt for the outstanding work done during its Chairmanship.
I also want to express gratitude to OIC Secretary General Dr. Iyad Madani for his wise governing of the Secretariat’s activity in promotion of the OIC call around the world.
Unfortunately we can not state that the overall situation in the Islamic world has done significant progress since our last meeting, instead the scope of challenges faced by our Ummah has extended. Azerbaijan expresses deep concern over the consequences of wars and armed conflicts erupted in a number of countries which include not only devastated cities and killings of civilians but long-term humanitarian and refugee crisis.
Azerbaijan commends the dedicated work carried out by OIC Secretary General on the Palestinian cause and reiterates its full support to the brotherly people of Palestine in their struggle for achieving peace, stability and establishment of their independent state with Al-Quds its capital.
We praise the efforts undertaken by OIC to combat the phenomenon of Islamophobia. One of the main pushing reasons for the existence of such negative tendency are the blows made by violent extremism and terrorism. These inhuman and malicious acts are perpetrated by the enemies of peace and justice, therefore they can be effectively responded only through our joint efforts and solidarity. Azerbaijan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations as one of the most serious threats to international peace and security.
My country is well known for its dedication to strengthening Islamic solidarity and promoting Islamic values. We are honored to host Islamic Solidarity Games next year in Baku and hope that they will help to reinforce the bonds of unity, amity and fraternity between Muslims.
Azerbaijan has always attached great importance to its relations with OIC. Only Throughout past years Baku has hosted several OIC events such as 5th Ministerial Conference on the Role of Women in the Development of OIC Member States, 2nd Conference of OIC Labour Ministers. In connection to the latter event upon the proposal of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan it was endorsed to establish OIC Labour center in Baku. We are proud that during our non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council special meeting devoted to strengthening the partnership synergy between the UN and OIC was held at UN Headquarters. We strongly believe that this practice must be continued, as it provides a good practice of expressing views on risks and challenges that faced by our world.
On April 2, 2016 Armenia once again confirmed its strong commitment to destructive policy in the negotiation process of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict by flagrantly violating ceasefire and shelling at the positions of Azerbaijani army and densely populated residential areas along the contact line. This provocative act received an adequate response from the Azerbaijani army which launched counter-attacks and repulsed Armenian forces. Today Armenia continues violating ceasefire regime and diverting attention from the substantive issues needed for peace process by this demonstrating to the world its main intentions. Azerbaijan calls the international community to demand from Armenia to cease the illegal occupation of Azerbaijan’s territories, to withdraw its troops from all seized lands and to engage constructively in the conflict settlement process in accordance with the requirements of relevant resolutions of the UNSC and the norms and principles of international law.
I use this opportunity to extend our sincere gratitude to OIC Secretary General and Member States for the support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and condemnation of the Armenian aggression and occupation of my country’s territories.
I also want to appreciate the decision of the Conference to establish a Contact group on the aggression of the Republic of Armenia against my country.
Thank you for your attention!