From Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of the United Nations

23 april 2016, 16:20

His Excellency Mr. Ilham Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan

Your Excellency,

I wish to convey my sincere apologies to Your Excellency and, through you, to the people of the Republic of Azerbaijan for having had to postpone my visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan, as well as my visits to Georgia and the Republic of Armenia.

Over the past ten years, the Alliance of Civilizations has become a valued platform to advance mutual respect and tolerance amongst, as well as within, nations. Thanks to your personal vision and leadership, the 7th Global Forum of the Alliance will skilfully chart its future course. I had been very much looking forward to addressing the Global Forum with you, in person, and hope that I may be able to join you via video conference.

During my visit, I had also envisaged discussing with you and others in the region, how the United Nations could best support you and the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe in peacefully resolving the conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.

I do hope you will understand that global crises require my presence in New-York during this particular period. Unfortunately, emergencies sometimes interfere with the best of our intentions and previous commitments as political leaders.

I hope that we will find another mutually convenient time for a visit to the Republic of Azerbaijan before the end of my tenure.

Please accept, Excellency, my apologies as well as the assurances of my highest consideration.

Ban Ki-moon,

Secretary General of the United Nations