Ilham Aliyev addressed first session of 13th Summit of Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul

14 april 2016, 17:00

The 13th Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul has continued with sessions.

President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev addressed the first session of the Summit.

Speech of President Ilham Aliyev

- Dear Mr. Chairman,

Dear Mr. Secretary General,

Excellencies, summit participants!

First of all, I want to thank my dear brother, President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for inviting me to the Summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and the excellent organization of the event.

In recent years, the brotherly Turkey, as a member of the G20, thanks to its growing authority on the international arena, has been making an important contribution to global development. I wish Turkey every success in its presidency in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation. I would like to thank Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Mr. Madani for his efforts to develop our organization.

Azerbaijan considers cooperation with Islamic countries a priority. In recent years, Baku has hosted about 10 summits of ministers of foreign affairs, culture, tourism, education and labor of OIC member-countries. I highly appreciate the activity of the OIC in terms of mutual support and solidarity. Islamophobia today is one of the most serious threats in the world. We strongly condemn this trend. Islam is actually a religion of peace, mercy, tolerance and justice. The identification of Islam with terrorism is an erroneous and biased approach. It is Muslim countries that suffer from terrorism the most.

Dear participants of the Summit! I would like to draw your attention to the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. For more than 20 years, Armenia has pursued an aggressive policy against Azerbaijan. As a result of this policy, 20 per cent of Azerbaijan's territory, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts, has been occupied. A policy of ethnic cleansing has been carried out on these lands. More than a million of our compatriots have become refugees and internally displaced persons. Armenia has committed the Khojaly genocide. The international community and international organizations recognize the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan and are in favor of a fair settlement of the conflict in accordance with international law. The UN Security Council has adopted four resolutions in connection with the conflict. These resolutions demand an immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian forces from Azerbaijani lands. Similar decisions and resolutions have been adopted by the Non-Aligned Movement, the OSCE, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and other organizations. I would like to once again express my sincere appreciation to the OIC for its fair resolution supporting a settlement of the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the framework of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. However, aggressive Armenia ignores these resolutions and regularly resorts to armed provocations to disrupt the process of negotiations. One of them was carried out in early April. As a result of an armed attack, Azerbaijani soldiers and civilians were killed. The OIC has decided to establish a contact group at the level of Foreign Ministers to deal with Armenia’s aggression against Azerbaijan,. Thank you for this decision.

Dear participants of the Summit, Azerbaijan makes a regular contribution to the intercultural and interreligious dialogue. In late April, we will hold the Seventh Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. Azerbaijan attaches great importance to solidarity among Islamic countries. In 2017, Baku will host the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku. On this occasion, I invite you all to Baku to watch these games. I am confident that this event will serve the strengthening of peace and solidarity in the Muslim world.

In conclusion, I want to thank President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again for the genuine hospitality, and wish success to the Summit. Thank you for your attention.