On 26-27 October, the Austrian capital hosted the Vienna Forum of Azerbaijani students studying in European countries.
Chief of the political analysis and information provision department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration Elnur Aslanov, who participated at the event, has shared his impressions in his interview to AzerTAc.What can you say about the significance of the Vienna Forum?
The main goal of the Vienna Forum was to inform Azerbaijani students studying in European countries about the Karabakh conflict, exchange views on historical, legal and political aspects of the problem and bring the necessary knowledge to the attention of the youths. The event which actively involved experts, political figures, MPs and representatives of diplomatic corpses lasted two days.
This forum by format differed from the previous Strasbourg and Budapest forums. Differently from the previous forums, social or educational problems of students studying in foreign countries were not a matter of discussion at the Vienna Forum. This forum was dedicated to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and discussed the role of the young generation, especially students studying in foreign countries, in this field.
This is because the responsibility that falls on their shoulders is to adequately represent the Motherland in educational facilities and countries they study and live in.
At the Forum, PhDs in historical sciences Musa Gasimli, Irada Bagirova and Azerbaijani Ambassador to Poland Hasan Hasanov spoke about the historical aspects of the conflict. Deputy Foreign Minister Araz Azimov, member of Milli Majlis Rasim Musabayov shared their opinions on the negotiation process and activity of the Minsk Group.
Fellow of the Azerbaijani permanent representation at the UN, Tofig Musayev, analyzed the legal aspects of the conflict and spoke about the essence of international legal principles and laws, which is the topic of discussion in the settlement process.
Besides, director of the Centre for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan Republic Farhad Mammadov and MP Rovshan Rzayev informed about the work done in the conflict resolution.
The event was also addressed by former co-chairman of the Minsk Group Matthew Bryza, editor-in-chief of Turkish Policy Quarterly magazine Nigar Goksel and executive director of the US Azeris Network Adil Bagirov.
So, as a scientific symposium, the utterly informative event enabled to get historical, political and legal information necessary for future activity of our students.
At the Vienna Forum, the activeness of our youths caused the discussions and dialogue to be fruitful and made the event more interesting. Holding the forum in Europe enabled the Azerbaijani youths to build a closer and more sincere communication with Europeans.
This at the same time is an embodiment of the state support for strengthening the activity of youths and students.
The Forum has a big importance also in terms of delivering visuals aids written about the Karabakh realities in Western languages to students studying in Europe.
What constitutes the importance of the event?
The fact that necessitated holding the Forum was to provide participation of the new young generation in the communication work of Azerbaijan and get advantage of their intellectual potential.
Strategy "turning black oil into human capital" declared by Mr. President stipulates the training of high-level personnel possessing wide knowledge and formation of new young elite. They should already be aware of Azerbaijan's foreign policy priorities, and play the role of a bridge conveying Azerbaijani realities to the world community.
Providing these youths with necessary knowledge about the conflict and involving them to propaganda was of the Forum's main goals.
The role of youths and students in strengthening the activity of diplomats and political figures is irreplaceable. Let's not forget that we are operating before the Armenian propaganda machine. Knowledgeable and skilled youths through their friends, student mates and people of different social categories can contribute to the spread of objective information.
We, at the same time, support them so that they expand their scope of activity in countries they live in and be represented in political and economic organizations. Armenians also spread information with their available networks.
As you know, they try to distort information and form public opinion in their favour. But the reality stays aside. Arguments of Armenians are based on no facts and supremacy of legal principles. The current situation formed in Nagorno-Karabakh is based on application of illegal force.
The main goal of the Armenian propaganda machine is to hide up this fact. They understand very well that they have carried out an aggressive act and will sooner or later respond for this. And our main goal is to surface the reality, expose the Armenian lies, deliver events and realities to public correctly and form public opinion based on true facts.
And this will be the beginning of defeat of Armenians.What can you say about outcomes of the Forum?
I should note that "Vienna network" was established at the end of the Forum. The essence of this network, besides education of youths and students, is to fruitfully organize their time dedicated to promotion of Azerbaijan. This is a scientific, analytical and intellectual network of youths. Activity of students studying in every country will be supported so that in coordinated manner they could get bigger results.
The only objective of the "Vienna network" is to deliver the realities of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict to large community. The network considers holding different discussions, involving foreign researchers in the conflict and development of grant projects.
In addition, in the near future, we will hold similar discussions and meetings with our students in other European countries. The main topic of discussion and goal is, of course, to educate our youths on the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and increase their knowledge around issues regarding the historical and political aspects of the conflict, the current state of the negotiation process and issues related to this conflict.