Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov has delivered speech at the meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers in a narrow format in Ashgabat city with reference to the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry.

“On behalf of the Republic of Azerbaijan and on my own behalf, allow me to welcome you, as well as the members of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the CIS, and express special gratitude to the Turkmenistan side for the hospitality and warm welcome,” Mammadyarov said.

“I would like to note that the CIS is an important platform for the development of economic and humanitarian cooperation. In this context, Azerbaijan, being an active member of the CIS, attaches particular importance to participation in the organization.”

“The agenda of today’s meeting of the CIS Council of Foreign Ministers includes discussion of current issues of cooperation in the economic and humanitarian sphere, as well as issues of cooperation in the fight against terrorism and extremism,” the Azerbaijani foreign minister noted.

“In this regard, I would like to note at today’s meeting the importance of signing the Decision “On the draft Appeal of the Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States to the peoples of the CIS countries and the world community on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945″.”

“On the eve of the celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Victory in the Great Patriotic War, it is also worth mentioning the great contribution of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani people to the Victory over the fascism,” Mammadyarov added. “More than 600,000 representatives of Azerbaijan participated in the war, more than half of them died on the battlefield and went missing. Many representatives of Azerbaijan were awarded high orders and medals.”

“In the fight against fascism, the Azerbaijani people showed heroism, valor and dedication not only on the battlefields, but also in the rear,” the foreign minister said. “Baku oil played an invaluable role in the victory in World War II. More than 70 percent of the oil produced in the Soviet Union during the war of 1941-1945, 80 percent of gasoline and 90 percent of motor oils were accounted for Azerbaijan.”

“In this regard, I consider the signing of the Decision “On the draft Appeal of the Heads of State of the Commonwealth of Independent States to the peoples of the Commonwealth and the world community in connection with the 75th anniversary of the Victory of the Soviet people in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945″ particularly important in opposing the ideology of Nazism, including the veiling of monuments and memorials, the propaganda of racism,” Mammadyarov said.

“We also attach great importance to humanitarian cooperation, which, I think, is the basis of the primary activity of our organization. The issues of humanitarian cooperation, issues related to inter-religious dialogue, the dialogue of civilizations, to multiculturalism are of great relevance.”

“The vast majority of countries in the world are multi-confessional countries and countries where representatives of many nationalities live,” the Azerbaijani minister noted. “Mono-ethnic countries are an exception. Therefore, humanitarian cooperation, mutual understanding between representatives of various faiths and ethnic groups is important for national harmony in each country, as well as for our cooperation. Because within the framework of our organization, countries with different history, culture, religion are represented, and we are united by common interests, we are united by cooperation.”

“Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the promotion of multiculturalism,” Mammadyarov said. “All ethnic and religious groups in Azerbaijan live in peace and prosperity. In recent years, we have held a number of global events, put forward initiatives aimed at promoting dialogue and mutual understanding. In this regard, it should be noted that the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, recognized by the UN General Assembly and the Secretary-General as the main global platform for promoting intercultural dialogue.”

“As you may know, one of the priority areas of cooperation between our countries in the humanitarian area is the sports sphere,” the minister added. “Azerbaijan in a short period of time has proved itself as a center of international sport competitions. So, in recent years, international events such as the European Games, Islamic Solidarity Games, including the World and European Championships, World Cups and Grand Prix competitions in numerous types of sport have been successfully held in our Republic.”

“I believe that continuation of constructive cooperation in the humanitarian sphere will further contribute to the strengthening of confidence between our states and the development of the Commonwealth,” Mammadyarov said. “Along with humanitarian ties, our countries are also successfully building up the potential for economic cooperation in both multilateral and bilateral formats.”

“Today, all opportunities for the development of a market economy have been created in Azerbaijan, and great successes have been achieved,” the minister added. “Thanks to the successful implementation of economic development programs over the past 15 years, the Azerbaijani economy has achieved a high level of development on a global scale.”

“Diversification of economy and development of non-oil sector are key long-term goals of our Government,” Mammadyarov noted. “To consolidate these reforms and increase the competitiveness and sustainability of the economy, the development of a deeper program of economic reforms for 2021-2025 has already begun. An overall favorable business environment and targeted reforms will provide additional opportunities for business and investors.”

“A special place in economic policy belongs to the development of international interaction,” the Azerbaijani foreign minister said. “By encouraging transport links, Azerbaijan is making a significant contribution to the efforts aimed at developing regional mutually beneficial cooperation. I believe that those endeavors and projects initiated by Azerbaijan serve to strengthen the economic security in the region, and there are good opportunities for investment projects in this area.”

“Nevertheless, it should be noted that unresolved conflicts in the Commonwealth space pose a serious threat to regional stability,” Mammadyarov added. “In this regard, I would like to once again draw attention to the importance of the soonest peaceful solution of Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the norms and principles of international law, relevant UN Security Council resolutions, the UN Charter, and the Helsinki Final Act. Azerbaijan is committed to the soonest political settlement of the conflict. At the same time, negotiations cannot last forever and should not serve to continue and maintain the situation that arose as a result of the use of force, occupation and ethnic cleansing.”

“It should be noted that international conflicts, ethnic cleansing and the occupation of sovereign territories are one of the main factors that increase the level of cross-border threats, including terrorism, that threaten international peace and security, as well as political independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries of the Commonwealth,” the minister said.

“Therefore, the issue of the settlement of unresolved conflicts requires attention and the consolidation of efforts of all countries. The positive experience that the CIS as an organization has accumulated can also be useful, in general, for solving the problems of our common space. In conclusion, let me wish you all successful work. Thank you for your attention.”