TODAY.AZ / Politics

Ilham Aliyev: "Armenia's aggression against Azerbaijan is a threat to peace and stability in the region" - UPDATED

02 December 2008 [18:50] - TODAY.AZ
A two-day conference of Ministers of Culture of CE states "Intercultural dialogue is a basis of stable development of peace in Europe and its neighbor states" started in Baku.

“Azerbaijan has rich history and the cultural monuments here are duly preserved, and a lot is being done in this direction. The country pursues independent policy. There is no serious discord in society and the peoples unite around the idea of modernism and Azerbaijanism,” the President of Azerbaijan said at his opening remarks at the conference of the Ministers of Culture of the Council of Europe member states on “Intercultural dialogue as the basis for peace and sustainable development in Europe and its neighboring regions”, which started in Baku on December 2, AzerTac reports.

Speaking of the economic growth of Azerbaijan, the President noted that the country is economically independent and delivers its energy carriers to the world and European markets, and the country plays important role in energy safety of world.

Touching upon the significance of restoration of peace in the South Caucasus region, Mr. Ilham Aliyev emphasized that Armenia`s aggression against Azerbaijan is the greatest threat to peace and stability in region. “All the conflicts in the Caucasus should find resolution and the international legal principles are to be ensured,” he stated. “As a result of occupation of Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia has pursued a policy of ethnic cleansing, occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands and over 1 million of people were ousted from their homelands and became refugees and IDPs,” the Head of State underlined.


CE Secretary general Tarry Davis was presented the ISESCO gold medal during the conference of the Culture Ministers of the CE member-states "Intercultural dialogue is a basis of stable development and peace in Europe and its neighbor regions" in Baku.

According to Novosti Azerbaijan, the medal was awarded by ISESCO general director Abdulaziz bin Osman al-Tuveirji.

The ISESCO general director speaking at the conference noted that he welcomes the idea of holding the conference and cooperation of Islam and Europe.

"This will promote discussion of common problems, not depending on religious belonging and will help maintain relations with neighbor states", noted he.

He notes that it is important to discuss and welcome the peaceful intentions of peoples, regarding of their religion and gender.

"We will reach more by means of intercultural dialogue", noted he.


Azerbaijan fully ensures its independence and holds independent policy, said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev speaking at the conference of the Culture Ministers of the CE member-states "Intercultural dialogue is a basis of stable development and peace in Europe and its neighbor regions" held in Baku Tuesday, according to Novosti-Azerbaijan.

The President noted that the country "attained great success both in the economic and political spheres".

He said significant steps have been done in Azerbaijan for strengthening and formation of civil society.

"There are no differences in the country. Azerbaijan has a modern political system, but it must be improved", continued I.Aliyev.

The head of the Azerbaijani state announced that through the past four years the country has taken the first place in the world by the economic growth rates, its economy has risen five times through the past five years, budget expenses by 12 times and industrial production grew several times.

"We have reached great achievements in the sphere of combat with poverty, the poverty rate has reduced from 49 to 16%. I am sure that by results of this year this figure will further decline", said the President.

According to Aliyev, Azerbaijan had problems with employment for many years, but the government was actively fighting this,.

"Over 700,000 work places have opened for the past five years, the development of the regions is proceeding quickly", noted he.

"We reached progress in energy sphere. The energy reserves of Azerbaijan play an important role in energy security of Europe. In other words, Azerbaijan fully meets its economic needs", noted the president.


President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev supposes that the conference of the CE culture ministers, held in Baku, will become a start of the so-called "Baku process" on strengthening of the cultural interaction of the European states.

"I would want the Baku process to be long-term and I expect a definite plan of actions to be developed during the current discussions", said Ilham Aliyev at the opening of the conference, according to Interfax-Azerbaijan,

"The conduction of the conference shows that Azerbaijan has attained much in the development of national and religious tolerance", added he.

The President noted that representatives of most nationalities have lived as a single family in Azerbaijan.

"This is an important factor peculiar to us. I am confident that Azerbaijan's experience in this direction is important and will become an object of detailed discussions during the conference today", noted the head of the state.

I.Aliyev especially noted that several Islamic states attend the conference along with the CE member-states.

"We attach a special importance to us as much has recently been spoken of a dialogue between civilizations, but tensions increase on this background. I hope that the launched Baku process will become an important contribution to the development of dialogue of civilizations", added he.

"Azerbaijan is loyal to its cultural heritage and carefully secures it", said the president.


The Baku declaration will be signed by results of the conference of the culture ministers of the Ce member-states, said CE secretary general Terry Davis Tuesday, according to Interfax-Azerbaijan.

"This conference is a good opportunity for the Islamic states to take part in the inter-cultural dialogue. There is a plan to discuss protocols and documents and adopt the Baku declaration at the conference", said Davis.

"We live in the same world with representatives of different religions, therefore, we should leave in peace and accord", added he noting that this is not the first event of this scale, which is attended by Islamic states.

Davis also announced that the Baku conference of the Ministers of Culture promotes the development of intercultural dialogue between the CE member-states.

He said assistance to the intercultural dialogue promotes attainment of most important purposes, including preservation and encouragement of human rights and democracy, which is among the priorities of the Council of Europe.

"The Ministers must define initiatives for further development, creation of close ties via intercultural dialogue, including between Europe and neighbor regions. The intercultural dialogue is also an event to discuss issues of ordinary citizens", noted he.


The neglect of decisions of international organizations on the Karabakh conflict by Armenia is the biggest threat for the region, said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, speaking at the conference of CE Ministers of Culture in Baku on Tuesday.

"Unfortunately, the resolutions of influential international organizations are being ignored, which is the biggest threat for the region", noted Aliyev,

The President announced that Armenia ignores the resolutions of international organizations, including the Council of Europe, about the need for unconditional release of the occupied Azerbaijani lands.

"The events in the Caucasus show that violation of the norms of international law causes dangerous processes", said the head of the state.

I.Aliyev called the continuous unpunished occupation of Azerbaijani lands to be the biggest injustice. He noted that great damage has been caused to the Azerbaijani cultural heritage in the occupied lands, which is confirmed by the OSCE Mission on investigating facts while holding a monitoring in the occupied lands in 2005.

"The report recognizes that there is no historical or cultural memorial left in the occupied lands. The expositions of the museums have been stolen away and the graves of our ancestors have been destroyed. It has all been done by the Armenian state", said Aliyev.

"Azerbaijan respects the cultural heritage of all peoples, residing in the country", noted the President.


"Azerbaijan has been within the Council of Europe for eight years and is satisfied with cooperation with this organization", said President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev while speaking at the conference of the Culture Ministers of the CE member-states "Intercultural dialogue is a basis of stable development and peace in Europe and its neighbor regions" which started in Baku Tuesday.

"Azerbaijan has been within the Council of Europe for eight years and is satisfied with cooperation with the organization. This cooperation will give additional opportunities", noted he.

According to the head of the state, Azerbaijan is moving forth in the democratic development through these years owing to the reforms, held in Azerbaijan and execution of commitments, undertaken in CE.

"Azerbaijan is a country of friendship and brotherhood. The conference proves that through the recent years Azerbaijan has attained much in the sphere of religious and national tolerance", said Aliyev, noting that Azerbaijan's experience in this field is important and can serve an example for other countries.

"Representatives of different nations and confessions live in peace and accord in Azerbaijan", noted Aliyev.


A two day conference of the Culture Ministers of the CE member-states "Intercultural dialogue is a basis of stable development and peace in Europe and neighbor regions" starts in Baku.

According to Novosti-Azerbaijan, at the conference 16 countries are represented on the level of ministers, 18 deputy ministers, 19 countries on different levels, heads of 10 international organizations, such as the Council of Europe, ALECSO, ISESCO and others.

For the first time Ministers of Islam states were invited to the conference of the ministers of culture of the CE states.

The opening ceremony will be attended by President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, CE Secretary General Terry Davis, ISESCO Secretary General Abdulaziz bil Osman al-Tuveijri, ALEKSO secretary general and UNESCO representative.

The conference will be held in three sections - "Discussion of the white book", "Cultural programs of policy and initiative: new concepts", "Heritage and intercultural dialogue - from national to universal".

Moreover, the Baku declaration is expected to be adopted at the second day of the conference. The document will reflect definite trends for the Culture Ministers of the CE member states and Islamic countries. It will also envision propaganda, closing and exchange of cultures.

Moreover, several official sessions will be held in the framework of the conference. In connection with the 10th anniversary of the compedium on cultural policy in Europe on December 4, the meeting of national authorsof the CE member-states will be held.

Moreover, the meeting of national coordinators of the Regional program of the CE Kiev initiative will be held on this day and the next meeting of the bureau of the steering committee on cultural issues of the Council of Europe.

Azerbaijan's Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev earlier reported that the participants of the conference will be presented information about problems of Azerbaijan, destruction of cultural monuments in the occupied Azerbaijani lands, presented different materials on occupation of Azerbaijan, demonstrated film "The prayer" on Khojaly tragedy.

Different cultural programs will be arranged for the conference participants.

"By holding this event Azerbaijan pursues the only purpose - to play a role of a bridge between Europe and Islam world and also laying basis of the Baku process, envisioning the development of intercultural dialogue between two civilizations", notes the Culture Ministry of Azerbaijan.

In early November of this year President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev signed a regulation regarding holding this conference considering the importance of cooperation of zerbaijan with CE. A special steering committee, led with Prime Minister of Azerbaijan Arthur Rasizade was created for preparations to holding the event.

The conference is arranged by the Council of Europe and Azerbaijan.


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